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Impact of methods and duration of surgical hand scrub on bacterial count: A randomized controlled trial

      Highlights

      • The nail brush used during surgical hand scrub is not necessary.
      • There was no difference between the effects of one-minute and two-minute scrub on bacterial count.
      • The findings help to avoid unnecessary practices of surgical hand scrub and minimize its duration.

      Background

      There is no standard protocol for surgical scrubbing. This study aims to compare the effectiveness of surgical hand scrub duration and method by analyzing their effects on bacterial count.

      Methods

      The study was conducted on 180 surgical nurses and surgeons. While the duration of surgical hand scrub in Groups I and II was one minute, participants in Group I used a nail brush, whereas Group II did not. Similarly, the duration of surgical hand scrub in Groups III and IV was two minutes, but Group III used a nail brush, whereas Group IV did not. Bacterial count on the hands of all participants was measured before and after the surgical hand scrub and after the surgery by using the glove juice method.

      Results

      Bacterial count on the hands of the participants in Group III after surgical hand scrub was significantly higher than Group IV (P < .001). We did not find any statistically significant difference between Group II and Group IV in terms of bacterial count on the hands immediately after surgical hand scrub and after the surgery (P = .401, P =.658, respectively).

      Conclusions

      This study found that brushing during surgical hand scrub increased the number of bacteria on the hand. Besides, one-minute surgical hand scrub was equally effective as two-minute scrub to reduce the number of bacteria on the hand.

      Key Words

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