Surgical Suite Myths: Are Shoe Covers Really Protecting Your Healthcare Workers?

Surgical Booties

Surgical booties play an important role in the surgical suite. Yet, they are also often overlooked or taken for granted. At Sloan, we live and breathe everything PPE. Shoe covers are something we constantly research to deliver higher levels of protection. 

These common myths are just a few of the misconceptions about shoe covers in the OR.

Myth #1: Shoe Covers Prevent the Spread of Bacteria and Infections

Reality Check: Medical shoe covers offer a protective barrier between the shoe and the operating room floor. They do not guarantee defense against the risk of bacterial contamination. 

Bacteria can transfer from the surgical environment to the legs and potentially enter between protective barriers. The risk is significantly reduced with high-quality shoe covers. Proper hygiene, gowns and gloves remain critical to defending against contamination.

Shoe covers are essential but they are not the only line of defense nor should they be depended on for full protection.

Myth #2: Wearing Shoe Covers Eliminates the Need for Disinfection and Cleaning in the Surgical Suite

Reality Check: In an ideal world, you would pull on shoe covers before surgery and discard them after surgery. Everything would be clean and ready to leave the surgical suite. 

In reality, disinfection and cleanup will always be necessary. 

After surgeries are completed, surgeons and everyone in the suite will need to disinfect the room, tools and themselves to safely exit. Shoe covers make this process much easier as the fluids are not soaked into the shoes and lower-leg clothing. 

Myth #3: All Shoe Covers Provide Similar Levels of Protection

Reality Check: Not all shoe covers are created equal! Maintaining a sterile environment requires the best PPE materials and designs. Everything from gowns to gloves play an important role and shoe covers are no different.

Some common issues with low-grade surgical booties include:

  • Soaking through fabric
  • Providing poor traction
  • Only covering the shoe
  • Not securing snugly around the leg

Low-quality shoe covers might work during low-fluid surgeries. They won’t stand up well when more fluids are present. Give your surgeons the protection they deserve with high-quality medical shoe covers.

What Your Shoe Covers Should Provide

High-quality shoe covers should leave surgeons and surgical staff with dry shoes and lower legs. They deliver a high level of comfort and protection against contact with fluids. This mitigates the risk of bacterial contamination to the shoes and clothing and keeps staff clean and happy during fluid-heavy surgeries.

At Sloan Medical, our shoe covers offer:

  • Impervious 2 ml polyethylene blend that guards against fluids while keeping the feet cool and comfortable.
  • Heat-sealed seams that prevent leaking.
  • Durable yet disposable design.
  • Easy one-size-fits-all design that covers the entire shoe and fits nicely under surgical gowns.
  • Regulatory compliance meeting ASTM’s F1671 test standards.
  • Exceptional traction on slippery floors.

Sloan Medical shoe covers are engineered to help maintain a sterile OR environment.

Learn more about how SLOAN shoe covers deliver superior performance and protection in the operating room.

Try the PPE everyone’s talking about.

Finally, PPE to keep surgeons and nurses dry and safe during surgery.

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