Syn: operating theater (Britain). The location in a hospital where most surgical procedures are conducted. In modern hospitals, there is usually a suite of operating rooms in a secure area, with features that include positive air pressure to exclude airborne particles from other parts of the hospital, rigorous requirements for complete removal or covering of outdoor clothing, and a separate area for sterilizing surgical instruments and for scrubbing by operating personnel in preparation for surgery. These and other actions minimize the risk of infection, but despite all precautions infections still occur from infected wounds, endoscopies, or breakdown of aseptic procedures.
Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology.