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Preoperative Skin Antiseptic Preparations and Application Techniques for Preventing Surgical Site Infections: A Systematic Review of the Clinical Evidence and Guidelines [Internet].


Ottawa (ON): Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health; 2011 Jun.
CADTH Rapid Response Reports.

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Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health, Ottawa, ON
Health Sciences Centre, Winnipeg, MB


Surgical site infections (SSIs) occur in patients who undergo clean extra-abdominal surgeries, such as thoracic and orthopaedic surgery, and in patients who undergo intra-abdominal procedures. SSIs are associated with increased morbidity and mortality in some patients after surgery, and with prolonged hospital stay and increased costs. Topical antiseptics may be applied to the patient as a preoperative skin preparation to reduce the risk of SSIs. The three main types of antiseptics are iodine or iodophor, alcohol, and chlorhexidine gluconate. Iodine and chlorhexidine disinfectants are sometimes mixed with alcohol or aqueous base, which may influence their clinical effectiveness. The techniques used to apply antiseptics may also influence their effectiveness in reducing SSIs. The current Canadian practices of antiseptic skin preparation vary. The objective of this systematic review is to evaluate the clinical effectiveness of preoperative skin antiseptic preparations and application techniques for preventing SSIs, and assess evidence-based guidelines on their use to help standardize practice.

Copyright © CADTH (June 2011).

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