Mandatory surgical jackets, bouffant caps in OR don't cut infection risk, study finds

The use of surgical jackets and bouffant caps in the operating room do not lower the risk of patients developing surgical site infections, according to a study published in JAMA Surgery.

Researchers conducted a study of 34,042 inpatient surgeries at the University of Alabama at Birmingham University Hospital between January 2017 and October 2018. They examined an eight-month period where surgical jackets and bouffant caps were not mandated by the hospital; a six-month period where surgical jackets were mandated; and an eight-month period where both surgical jackets and bouffants were mandated.

Researchers found no significant difference in the risk of patients developing surgical site infections in the three time periods. The rate of surgical site infections were:

1.01 percent for patients when caps, jackets were not mandated
0.99 percent for patients when jackets were mandated
0.83 percent for patients when caps, jackets were mandated

Researchers also found no significant difference in the risk of death, developing postoperative sepsis or wound separation among patients in the three time periods.

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