Cleaning video equipment

January 28, 2009 § Leave a comment


I recently got a question via the contact form concerning the cleaning of video equipment before entering an OR. As this may be interesting to others, I post the question and my answer here.

The question

I am a producer/videographer and I have recently been asked to shoot a surgery.  I’ve been searching for information about shooting a surgery regarding the equipment and the issues of shooting in a sterile environment.  Do you have a method for sterilizing your equipment or is it just thoroughly cleaned and kept away from contact with sterile areas of the OR?

My answer

It’s not possible or needed to sterilize the equipment before entering the OR. But it is important to clean and disinfect it thoroughly, to remove as much dust and microbes as possible. This must be done while you’re in the operating ward, before entering the OR (photo credit).

For most non-electric equipment, like a tripod, this can be done using an alcohol-based disinfectant. Most hospitals will have a 70% alcohol solution available for surface disinfection.

For more delicate and electric equipment, like the camera, a non-alcoholic, non-corrosive instrument disinfectant can be used. There’s a number of different products out there, at my hospital they use PeraSafe. Ask the OR nurses, they will know what is available.

When you’re in the OR it’s important to keep the equipment away from the sterile areas. These are easily identifiable, as they are covered in green or blue sterile drapes. Most often they will be the area immediately around the patient, the table(s) with sterile instruments and the gowns worn by the surgeon(s) and nurse(s) working close to the patient. Stay away from these, and follow whatever other instructions are given by the OR team, and you should be in the safe (image credit).

In the OR

The patient and instrument table are covered in sterile drapes. The chief surgeon, assisting surgeon and scrub nurse are wearing sterile gowns and gloves.

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