Wearing long sleeves during OR patient skin prep may reduce airborne contaminants

Using long sleeves and gloves when applying skin preparation solutions decreased particulate and microbial shedding in several of the operating rooms tested for a study published in American Journal of Infection Control.

Researchers examined mock patient skin prep performed in three different ORs. The mock skin prep was performed by individuals wearing a long-sleeved gown and gloves or with bare arms.

The study shows that despite there being no difference in the average number of total microbes for all ORs assessed, the use of sleeves seemed to specifically reduce the shed of Micrococcus.

"Although long sleeves may not be necessary for all operating room personnel, they may decrease airborne contamination while the skin prep is applied, which may lead to decreased surgical site infections," study authors concluded.

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