When a patient undergoes lung or heart transplant surgery, it’s crucial that the operation occurs in a 100% sterile environment. Even a single trace of bacteria may cause a patient to develop a life-threatening infection. Transplant surgery patients are at an immunocompromised (weakened) state during surgery and they’re in an exposed condition for a long period of time. Surgeons and surgical assistants take every precaution necessary.
Everything from the equipment used to the members of the surgical team must remain sterile throughout an entire transplant surgery. This includes any devices that are responsible for providing oxygen to the patient, circulating water through equipment, or regulating a patient’s body temperature. Most devices are tested thoroughly by the manufacturers and are guaranteed to be sterile.