What is the appropriate “dress code” for the cardiac catheterization laboratory?

David M. Leaman, Robert F. Zelis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


In order to determine the effect of the manner of dress by personnel and observers on cardiac catheterization‐related infections, a retrospective survey was undertaken of 107,203 catheterization procedures done during the calendar year prior to this survey. An analysis of 55,976 cutdowns and 53,578 percutaneous procedures was performed (some subjects had both procedures performed). A total of 379 infections in 109,554 entrance sites were reported for an overall incidence of infection of 0.35%. There were 33 infections at the percutaneous site (incidence = 0.06%) and 346 at the cutdown site (incidence = 0.62%). The manner of dress of personnel not involved with catheter manipulation and of the observers had no relationship to the incidence of infection when the percutaneous technique was used. When cutdowns were performed, there was a lower incidence of infection in those laboratories where all personnel and observers were required to wear a mask, cap, and gown (17,311 cutdowns, 83 infections, 0.48% infection rate) than in those laboratories where none of these was required (15,170 cutdowns, 109 infections, 0.72% infection rate) (P < 0.025). Laboratories which did 150 or less cutdowns/year had more infections than those laboratories performing more than 150/year (P < 0.0001). Our data suggest that the risk of infection from cardiac catheterization is more closely correlated with the volume of studies done in the laboratory than in the manner of dress of the laboratory personnel and visitors in the laboratory. However, the wearing of full “sanitary clothing” will help decrease the infection rate in cutdowns.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)33-38
Number of pages6
JournalCatheterization and Cardiovascular Diagnosis
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1983

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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