There are few topics that generate more heated debate than guidelines for appropriate surgical cap attire. Specifically, the recent point of contention is that the skull cap, for most people who wear it, leaves some hair uncovered, exposing patients to more bacterial shedding and potentially higher rates of surgical site infection (SSI). But the controversy has percolated into more than a patient-safety issue; it has become a platform for emotionally driven arguments, unflattering logic, and failed leadership by all parties. There is plenty of blame to go around and a silver lining in the attempted collaboration to resolve the controversy, but ultimately the pending resolution suffers from ambiguity and indecision. Before we look forward, we should start with a quick summary of the dispute.
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Petro CC, Rosen MJ. What Surgeons Need to Know About the Bouffant Scandal. JAMA Surg. 2019;154(11):989–990. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2019.2107
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