Routine Shaving at the Surgical Site

EBT1 Task Three, page 1

Jessica Johnson Student ID: 000252422 BS in Nursing, 02/01/2012 Mentor: Linda Byrd EBT1 Task Three! A1. Procedure ! Routine preoperative shaving of the surgical site has proven to be a source of

surgical site infections (SSI). Using a razor prior to surgery can abrade the skin and allow bacteria to permeate the surgical site. Preoperative shaving of the surgical site the night before an operation is associated with a significantly higher SSI risk than either the use of depilatory agents or no hair removal (Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee [HICPAC], 1999). Routine hair removal remains popular with some doctors today, especially in developing countries. A2. Initial Investigation ! The practice of shaving the surgical site began in the early twentieth century

when humans first began experimenting with surgical arts. Hair around the surgical site was thought to interfere with wound closure. Later, when antiseptic techniques were introduced, hair was thought to be a source of bacterial colonization and subsequent infection. It is still common today for physicians at LDS Hospital to request preoperative shaving when patients have excessive hair at the surgical site because hair prevents the surgical drapes, necessary to maintain a sterile field, from adhering to the patient. Many physicians were concerned that hair sabotaged the sterility of operations, and subsequently had it removed prior to the procedure.

EBT1 Task Three, page 2


The process of eliminating the shaving ritual from preoperative procedures was

initiated by the CDC. HICPAC released the Guideline for Prevention of Surgical Site Prevention in 1999 which reviewed Preoperative SSI risk in association with routine hair removal, and suggested that whenever possible, no hair should be removed prior to surgery. If hair will interfere with the procedure, the CDC recommends using electronic clippers (2010). ! Within LDS Hospital, quality...