This study clearly depicts that Although the rate of periprosthetic joint infection following shoulder arthroplasty is low, it is a morbid and costly complication. Airborne particulates have long been recognized as a potential source of wound contamination, and operating room–mounted and smaller localized laminar airflow devices have been developed to minimize airborne particulates. This randomized controlled trial evaluated the effectiveness of a localized laminar flow device in reducing the intrusion of ambient airborne particles and bacteria into the surgery site during shoulder arthroplasty as measured by overall particle counts and colony-forming units (CFUs).

Patients undergoing primary anatomic or reverse shoulder arthroplasty were eligible for participation. After providing informed consent, patients were randomly assigned to the Air Barrier System (ABS) group or control group. For all patients, the ABS was placed on the surgical field; however, it was only turned on by the technician for those randomized to the ABS. The use of the device was not associated with a longer case duration; however, some additional setup time was required prior to surgical incision to place the device. Further study is required to determine the clinical implications.

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