July 1973

The Surgical Scrub—Practical Consideration

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Surgery, Peter Bent Brigham Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston.

Arch Surg. 1973;107(1):75-77. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1973.01350190063016

Two scrubs were tested and compared under simulated conditions of use. The iodine preparation produced a greater immediate reduction in bacterial count than the hexachlorophene preparation; however, this advantage was lost after one hour. The bacterial count inside the gloves following the iodine preparation increased after one hour and was higher than the count one hour following the hexachlorophene preparation.

Because gloves are worn during surgery for periods longer than one hour, the choice of a scrub should be made on the basis of a prolonged depressant effect on the microbial flora of the hand. It is more appropriate to select a long-acting germicidal detergent than a single-short germicidal detergent with dwindling residual effect.