December 12, 2017

Wearing long sleeves to prep decreases airborne contaminants

By: Judy Mathias
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Editor’s Note

Wearing long sleeves with gloves while prepping a patient in the OR decreased large-particle and microbial shedding compared with prepping with bare arms, in this study.

A mock patient skin prep was performed in 3 different ORs. A long-sleeved gown and gloves or bare arms were used to do the preps. Particle counters were used to assess airborne particulate contamination, and active and passive microbial assessment was done with air samplers and settle plate analysis.

OR B had decreased 5.0-µm particle sizes with the use of sleeves. ORs A and C had decreased total microbes only with the use of sleeves. Though there was no difference in the average number of total microbes for all the ORs, the use of sleeves specifically decreased the shed of Micrococcus.

Long sleeves may not be necessary for all OR personnel, but they may decrease airborne contamination while performing the skin prep, which may lead to decreased surgical site infections, the authors say.

 

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