Research for infection protection

Surgical contamination classes

Invasive procedures are divided into four classes based on the level of contamination:

  • Procedures in non-contaminated regions: The surgical site is “clean”, i.e. not contaminated; the respiratory, gastrointestinal or urogenital tract is not involved (e.g. thyroid gland, heart or joint surgery)
  • Clean-contaminated procedures: The body area is colonised, the flora is, however, less contagious; the respiratory, gastrointestinal or urogenital tracts are opened under controlled conditions (e.g. oropharyngeal, vaginal or bile duct surgery)
  • Procedures in contaminated regions: Fresh wounds; surgeries on the lower gastrointestinal tract; incisions in contaminated defects
  • Procedures in manifestly infected regions: Wounds with clinical infection (e.g. abscess or intestinal perforation) or devitalised tissue; surgeries in patients with multidrug-resistant bacteria

Anforderungen der Hygiene bei Operationen und anderen invasiven Eingriffen, Mitteilung der Kommission für Krankenhaushygiene und Infektionsprävention am Robert Koch-Institut (RKI), Bundesgesundheitsbl - Gesundheitsforsch – Gesundheitsschutz 2000, 43:644–648