Drapes serve as sterile covers during surgeries. They are used as pads for arranging instruments and/or for covering patients. The picture illustrates various disposable items used during surgical procedures. Both disposable and washable items are used in hospitals. Washable surgical drapes are cleaned by professional cleaning companies.
Here you see a patient being covered with a sterile drape. These drapes should be easy to handle in order to prevent possible contamination while being placed on the patient. Prerequisites for easy handling are flexibility, good molding capability, and proper packing and folding logistics. Moreover, the surgical team requires clothing that offers maximum comfort (ergonomics), and clothing should never be a distraction during long, complicated surgeries.
Prior to surgery, the surgeon dresses such that a sterile environment is maintained at all times; the surgical coat is put on, followed by surgical gloves. Painstaking attention is paid to ensure that the surgical coat and gloves do not come in contact with the skin and/or other nonsterile objects. Next, the sterile instruments are arranged on a sterile pad, thus maintaining the chain of sterility.