Outpatient Surgery Magazine

Special Outpatient Surgery Edition - Infection Control - May 2017

Outpatient Surgery Magazine, providing current information on Surgical Services, Surgical Facility Administration, Outpatient Surgery News and Trends, OR Excellence and more.

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M A Y 2 0 1 7 O U T P A T I E N TS U R G E R Y. N E T 4 9 antiseptic agent before the first incision is an indispensable step in preventing surgical site infec- tions. We also know it takes time. But the 30-second, back-and-forth friction scrub at the incision site is time well spent (plus, the longer you prep, the better you're able to reach the deeper skin lay- ers). And waiting 3 minutes for an alcohol-based prep to dry before you drape not only helps prevent surgical fires, especially during electrosurgical cases. Equally important is that it is the amount of time that is required to reduce the bacterial load on the skin. But there's more to prepping the skin than just taking your time. Technique is important, too. For example, you start a chlorhexidine glu- conate scrub at the incision site and work your way out in concentric circles. Once you've moved to the periphery, you don't want to reverse your clean-to- dirty course and go back to the incision site, possibly spreading contaminants. Another tactical consideration: How many prepping sticks do you need to cover the body part you're prepping? You want neither too little (insufficient cover- age) nor too much (pooling). In late 2015, our frontline staff reported to us that we didn't always prep the site according to the prep manufacturer's recommendation. (The fact that our nurses • TIME WELL SPENT The skin prep impacts patient safety not only by reduc- ing the risk of surgical site infections but also by preventing surgical fires. Pamela Bevelhymer, RN, BSN, CNOR

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