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Abstract


Efficacy of Different Surgical Hand Washing Methods

Mohammad Reza Abbasian MD, Ali Akbar Esmailiejah MD, Hamid Reza Seyyed Hosseinzadeh MD*

Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
* Corresponding Author




Introduction: Hand washing and hand antisepsis in operating theatre (OT) are necessary to decrease post operation infection. Betadine (10% povidone-iodine solution) is used as an antiseptic solution followed by rinsing either with running tap water, sterile water, normal saline or other solutions. Alcohol based solutions are also used as antiseptics. In the current study, we sought to examine hand sterility following rinsing with tap water as final process of surgical hand hygiene and compare it with other new alcohol based antiseptic solutions and other old methods of rinsing the hands as the final process of hand washing.

Materials and methods: The study was conducted on 24 surgeons and operating personnel washing their hands with Betadine as a disinfectant followed by rinsing with either of the following solutions on four different days: sterile water, normal saline, tap water and alcohol 70%. On another day, the participants washed their hands with an alcohol based solution, Decocept, with no rinsing. On the sixth day, no washing was performed before taking the samples. Samples were taken from the hands of the participants for microbial analysis after performing the washing in all the stages. Tap water was also analyzed for microbial contamination.

Results: At 48h, no microbial growth was detected in the samples taken from those washing their hands with sterile water, normal saline, alcohol 70% and decocept solution. However, in 33.3% (8 cultures) of the samples taken from those washing their hands with tap water, certain microorganisms such as bacillus subtilis and negative staphylococcus coagulase were detected. The results were significantly different from other methods of hand washing (p=0.002). At 72h, microbial growth was detected in 50% (12 cultures) of the samples taken from those washing their hands with normal saline and in 33.3% (8 cultures) of the samples taken from those washing their hands with tap water. However, the difference between the two groups was not significant (p=0.242). No microbial growth was detected in the samples related to washing with alcohol, sterile water and Decocept.

Conclusion: The strict methods of hand washing with solutions free from microorganisms prior to operation are essential to control postoperative infections.

Keywords: Hand washing, Decocept, Alcohol, Tap water