Send to

Choose Destination
J Clin Nurs. 2009 Dec;18(23):3325-32. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2702.2009.02885.x.

The effect of nurse-performed preoperative skin preparation on postoperative surgical site infections in abdominal surgery.

Author information

Izmir University, Doganata Education and Culture Foundation, School of Nursing, Izmir, Turkey.



To determine the effect of preoperative skin preparation procedures performed by nurses on postoperative surgical site infection in abdominal surgery.


Despite all interventions, postoperative SSIs still greatly affect mortality and morbidity.


This is an experimental study.


Procedures developed for nurse application of preoperative skin preparations were tested on a control group (n = 39) and study group (n = 43).


Only clinical routines for preoperative skin preparation were performed on the control group patients. Control group members' skins were mostly prepared by shaving with a razor blade (41%). For the study group members, the researchers used the preoperative skin preparation procedure. Clippers were used to prepare 55.8% of study group members while 44.2% of them were not treated with the clipper because their wounds were clean. As a requirement of the procedure, all members of the study group had a chlorhexidine bath at least twice after being hospitalised and at least once a night before the operation under controlled conditions. In the group where chlorhexidine bath was not applied, the infection risk was found to be 4.76 times (95%CI = 1.20-18.83) greater even after corrections for age and gender had been made. The difference between control group and study group with respect to surgical site infections was also statistically significant (p < 0.05).


Preoperative skin preparation using clipper on the nights before an operation and a 50 ml chlorhexidine bath excluding head area taken twice in the pre-operative period are useful to reduce SSI during postoperative period.


We find that preoperative skin preparation using the procedures developed as a result of findings of this study is useful in reducing surgical site infection during the postoperative period.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center