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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.

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Walter CW, Kundsin RB:  The bacteriologic study of surgical gloves from 250 operations . Surg Gynecol Obstet 129:949-952, 1969.
Michaud RN, McGrath MB, Goss WA:  Improved experimental model for measuring skin degerming activity on the human hand . Antimicrob Agents Chemother 2:8-15, 1972.Article
Feldmann RJ, Maibach HI:  Absorption of some organic compounds through the skin in man . J Invest Dermatol 54:399-404, 1970.Article
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