The Operating Theatre is divided into four zones according to cleanliness or level of sterilization maintained. The number of bacteria decreases from the outer to the inner zones of the OT department.

The four Operation Theatre zones are:

  1. Unrestricted zone.
  2. Semi-exclusion zone or semi-sterile area
  3. Restricted or sterile area.
  4. Disposal zone

Unrestricted Zone

• This is an area where hospital staff, Surgeons, Operation Theatre technicians, patients and nurses can present in their normal clothing or attire.

Semi-exclusion zone or protected zone or semi-sterile area

• Surgical team enters this area after donning of PPE kit i.e. changing from normal attire into hospital uniform, head cover, foot cover, surgical gown etc.

Restricted/Sterile Area or Aseptic Area:

• Surgical procedures are performed in this area. Only surgeons, Operation Theatre technicians and Nursing staff are permitted in this zone. Unnecessary movement is restricted to keep the zone infection free.

Fumigation of the Operation theatre helps to maintain this zone as a sterile area. 

Disposal Zone: Doffing of PPE kit, handling of used surgical instruments and biomedical waste disposal takes place in this area. The articles which require sterilization will be sent to the CSSD department.

Subareas like the preoperative area and anesthesia room are also there. In the preoperative area, the patient enters prior to surgery to the surgery where his medical records are checked. Cannulation and catheterization are also performed in the preoperative area. In the anesthesia room, the patient is administered anesthesia under strict monitoring of the vital signs.

The Benefits of dividing Operation Theatre into zones are:

• To Minimize the risk of nosocomial infections

 • To Minimize unnecessary movement of staff and patients to prevent contamination

• To Increase the efficiency of the operations theatre team

• To Minimize the risk of  operating room hazards

 • All the articles and equipments are placed in the appropriate zones to ensure a smooth workflow within Operation Theatre.