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Paradigm Shift in PreOperative Skin Preparation

Surgical site infections (SSIs) are the number one most costly hospital acquired infection (HAI), and the second most common. They can lead to the prolonged patient suffering, extended hospitalizations, and cost the healthcare industry billions of dollars, much of which is no longer reimbursable through historical channels. Clinical evidence of well-known antimicrobial agents such as chlorhexidine in washes and wipes has shown that they are effective at reducing the levels of bacteria on a patient’s skin pre-operatively and subsequently decrease the incidence of SSIs when employed correctly; however, these techniques are only as good as the compliance of the patient. Complicated take-home instructions, combined with the potential for skin irritation, sticky residue and the stress of the upcoming surgery, are likely contributors to the well-documented issue of patient compliance; a critical limiting factor in effective implementation of preprocedural skin antiseptic practices.

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