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Inventors of the Ultra Clean Operating Theatre


Howorth Air Technology has a long history of helping to reduce surgical infection.  In the early 1960s, Sir John Charnley was pioneering hip replacements at the Wrightington Hospital in Wigan.  The hip replacements were a success but many patients were dying of subsequent infections from the major surgery involved. 


Charnley was put in touch with Hugh Howorth, whose company specialised in clean air solutions for various industrial processes, including the brewing industry.  Howorth designed an airflow system to filter air and direct sources of infection away from the patient. 


Post operative infections after orthopaedic surgery were considerably reduced and Charnley, along with other pioneering surgeons in the UK, were able to develop the hip replacements now used in millions of patients.


For many years the system they developed was known as the Charnley-Howorth airflow.  The rate of airflow is greatest in the centre directly above the patient and reduced around the perimeter.  This system, patented by Howorth, makes it less likely that patients will be exposed to infection or that people moving into the operating area disrupt the airflow.


The Howorth Exflow™ UCV, as it is now known, remains a global leader in the field of ultra clean ventilation.


Today, this expertise in engineering clean air is fundamental to our success in providing world class containment and infection control solutions, serving the global pharmaceutical and wider industrial markets.

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