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Patient Prepping

Wed, 08/24/2011 - 7:07am
DeAnn Hammer, 3M Health Care

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What should surgical professionals consider when choosing patient prep products?

August 24, 2011

DeAnn Hammer, 3M Health Care

Patient safety: This consideration is critical when choosing the best surgical prep for each patient’s situation.  It is important to understand the factors that contribute to making surgical preoperative skin preparation decisions.  These factors include, but are not limited to: procedure, allergy/sensitivity, age of patient, surgical procedure site.  Most facilities find it useful to have multiple surgical preoperative skin preparations available for use; this practice is supported by CDC guidelines for the prevention of surgical site infection.

Application: It is imperative to check manufacturer’s directions for use.  Meeting efficacy requirements set forth by the FDA Tentative Final Monograph is based upon correct application as directed by the manufacturer. OR Teams can become confused about directions for use, due to many prep applicators (packaging) looking similar.  Some preps have different instructions for use dependent upon dry or moist sites.  CDC and AORN guidelines for the prevention of surgical site infection recommend applying a surgical prep in concentric circles, moving toward the periphery.  Due to these recommendations many OR teams follow this application technique, which is not proper application for leading skin preparations on the market.

Coverage area: Efficacy is linked to coverage area.  Some preps cover more area per applicator than others, even though the liquid volume is the same (i.e. 26 mL).  Check manufacturer’s coverage information located on product packaging.  Using a surgical prep beyond coverage specifications may affect efficacy.  Depending upon the surgical procedure, more than one applicator may be required to complete the patient prep.

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