constructed of materials that are monolithic and impervious to moisture. Ventilation systems supplying filtered air at positive pressure can reduce the risk of postoperative infection (Ayscue 1986; Bartley 1993; Schonholtz 1976). Careful location of air supply and exhaust ducts and appropriate room ventilation rates are also recommended to minimize contamination (Ayliffe 1991; Bartley 1993; Holton and Ridgway 1993; Humphreys 1993). To facilitate cleaning, the operating rooms should have as little fixed equipment as possible (Schonholtz 1976; UFAW 1989). Other operating room features to consider include surgical lights to provide adequate illumination (Ayscue 1986); sufficient electric outlets for support equipment; gases to support anesthesia, surgical procedures, and gas-powered equipment; vacuum; and gas-scavenging capability.
The surgical support area should be designed for washing and sterilizing instruments and for storing instruments and supplies. Autoclaves are commonly placed in this area. It is often desirable to have a large sink in the animal preparation area to facilitate cleaning of the animal and the operating facilities. A dressing area should be available for personnel to change into surgical attire; a multipurpose locker room can serve this function. There should be a scrub area for surgeons, equipped with foot, knee, or electric-eye surgical sinks (Knecht et al. 1981). To minimize the potential for contamination of the surgical site by aerosols generated during scrubbing, the scrub area should usually be outside the operating room and animal preparation area.
A postoperative recovery area should provide the physical environment to support the needs of the animal during the period of anesthetic and immediate postsurgical recovery and should be sited to allow adequate observation of the animal during this period. The electric and mechanical requirements of monitoring and support equipment should be considered. The type of caging and support equipment will depend on the species and types of procedures but should be designed to be easily cleaned and to support physiologic functions, such as thermoregulation and respiration. Depending on the circumstances, a postoperative recovery area for farm animals may be modified or nonexistent in some field situations, but precautions should be taken to minimize risk of injury to recovering animals.
Barrier facilities are designed and constructed to exclude the introduction of adventitious infectious agents from areas where animals of a defined health status are housed and used. They may be a portion of a larger facility or a free-standing unit. While once used primarily for rodent production facilities and to maintain immunodeficient rodents, many newer facilities incorporate barrier features for housing specific pathogen-free (SPF) mice