Why Draping?

The primary purpose of draping of the patient is to isolate the surgical site from the other areas of the patient’s body and non-sterile areas of the OR table in order to contribute to reducing the risk of surgical site infection (SSI).


The drapes serve as a barrier to endogenous and exogenous sources of contamination, in particular endogenous contamination (patient’s skin flora as the source), which is identified as a major source of SSI. Draping not only contributes to protecting the surgical site, but also expands the sterile field allowing the Certified Surgical Technologist (CST) and other members of the sterile surgical team to place sterile instrumentation and supplies on the drapes.


The choice of surgical drape and gown is depending on the type of the surgery. The site and potential fluid exposure of the surgical intervention are important factors, we must ensure protection of the patients and clinical staff from the dangers of blood borne pathogens, fluid contaminants, and preventing the transmission of infectious agents, thereby reducing the risk of healthcare associated infections [HCAIs].


All surgical team members should be involved in the process of developing and implementing healthcare facility policies and procedures as related to drapes.

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