Draping Procedure


The nature of the procedures performed at our organization does not necessitate the use of sterile technique. Sterile draping, gloving and technique is not used during endoscopic procedures and endoscopic instrument reprocessing. High level disinfection is used for endoscopic instrument reprocessing. 

For level II procedures, the operative site shall be draped 
according to accepted practices; for level I procedures, 
draping will be accomplished according to the specific 
instructions of the staff member performing the procedure.  
Draping establishes a sterile field around the operative 
site.  Isolating the operative field with drapes prevents 
cross-contamination from other unprepared body areas. Fanning 
of the drapes should be minimized to avoid air turbulence and 
the potential for contamination.
1.  Draping shall be performed after the sterile prep is 
2.  Confirm operative site by checking patient chart.
3.  The procedure site is isolated from surrounding area.
4.  Handle drapes as little as possible.  Drape from 
    operative site to periphery.  A sterile person first 
    covers the near side of any unsterile surface with 
    sterile drapes and will then cover the far side.  The 
    drapes then are applied from operative site to 
    periphery.  This helps to protect the sterility of gowned 
The physician is responsible for delineating the area to be 
draped.  The site should be the only exposed area.  If sharp 
towel clips are used to secure the drapes, they should be 
considered contaminated at the point of entry and should not 
be repositioned.  Drapes should be handled as little as 
possible.  Drapes should never be passed over an unsterile 
area or held below the waist, and during transfer from the 
sterile field to the patient, they should be held in a 
compact position, avoiding fanning or haphazard unfolding.
To avoid contamination, scrubbed personnel do not touch the 
patient's skin and the gloved hands should always be 
protected by cuffing the draping materials back over the 
hands. The skin around the incision must be dry when drapes 
are applied. Sufficient time should be allowed to observe 
proper techniques and application of the drapes.
If a drape is incorrectly placed, it should be discarded, 
never re-positioned. The nurse will remove the drape without 
contaminating the other drapes or the operative site.  
Whenever a drape falls below waist level, it should be 
discarded because the area below the waist is considered 
unsterile.  When sterility is in doubt, consider the drape to 
be contaminated.

Approved By Governing Board    
Control #122.0