Basic Information About The Surgical Scrub

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The surgical scrub is the removal of as many bacteria as possible from the hands and arms by mechanical washing and chemical disinfection before taking part in the surgical procedure.

Purpose of the Surgical

The purpose is to prevent possibility of contamination of the operative wound by bacteria on the hands and arms.

Kinds of Surgical Scrub:

1. Complete Scrub = usually takes 5 to 7 minutes:

  • This is done in the morning before the first gowning and gloving.

  • This is done following a clean case if gloves have had a hole on them.

  • This is done following a clean case if hands had been contaminated in some other way.

  • This is done following a clean case, if gloves had been removed inadvertently before the gown.

  • This is done following a contaminated case before starting the next case.

2.  Short Scrub – takes three minutes.  This is done following a clean case, if the arms and hands have not been contaminated.  It is done to remove bacteria that have emerged from the pores and multiplied while the gloves were worn.

Procedure for the Complete Scrub:

  1. Put several drops of Phisohex into the palm of the hand and add enough water to make lather.  Wash to about 3 inches above the elbows.

  2. Both hands and arms are rinsed.

  3. Using a sterile brush, apply six drops of phisohex to the brush and scrub nails and hands, one-half minute for each hand.

  4. With brush at hand, clean the nails with a nail file.  Discard the file.

  5. Again, scrub nails and hands with the brush, one-half minute for each hand.

  6. Rinse the hands and brush and discard into the basin.

  7. Put 2 cc of phisohex into the palm of hand; add enough water to make lather.  Wash hands and arms for three minutes, interlacing the fingers to cleanse between them, ending with the hands.

  8. Both hands and arms are rinsed.

  9. During and after scrubbing, keeps the hands higher than the elbows, so that water, running from the marginal area of the upper arms, will drip off the elbows and do not run down the lower arms to the hands.

  10. Alcohol can be used in rinsing.

Procedure for the Short Scrub:

  1. Put 2 cc of phisohex into the palm of hand; add enough water to make lather.  Wash hands and arms for three minutes, interlacing the fingers to cleanse between them, ending with the hands.

  2. Both hands and arms are rinsed.

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