Background: Surgical hand rub and healthy skin are basic requirements to prevent surgical site infections. Nevertheless, there is little knowledge about the current practice of skin protection and/or skin care products (SP/SC) using among surgeons as well as a lack of data pertaining to the influence of SP/SC on the antimicrobial efficacy of surgical hand rub.Methods: A 10 weeks-survey among German surgeons as well as an experimental crossover study involving 26 participants were conducted. The immediate and sustainable efficacy (IE/SE) of surgical hand rub and participants' hand moisture were measured after an 8-day usage of SP/SC, as well as the influence on micro-perforations on surgical gloves.Results: The questionnaire was available to 16,000 German surgeons. Thereof, 1,771 surgeons accessed the questionnaire, representing a total participation rate of 11%. As 19% (n = 338) of questionnaires were incomplete, a total of 1,433 completed questionnaires were available for further analysis. More than 75% of the participants stated not to use any SP/SC, yet, almost 50% suffered from skin irritation or discomfort. Only 5% used SP/SC at the beginning of their shift. 10% refused to use SP/SC because of concerns that SP/SC may reduce the antimicrobial efficacy of surgical hand rub.After usage of SP/SC over 8-days, skin moisture was significantly higher (P <0.001), whereas no significant influence on the antimicrobial efficacy of surgical hand rub was observed (IE: P = 0.135; SP: P = 0.681). Micro-perforations were detected in 8/52 surgical gloves (15%), with no statistical significant difference between SP/SC users (n = 2/26; 8%) and non-users (n = 6/26; 23%; P = 0.249).Conclusions: Following the results of this largest questionnaire base survey among German surgeons on skin care, there is a need to educate and inform surgeons on the correct application and the concept of SP/SC strategies. In the present study, the combination of selected SP/SC products and one alcohol-based hand rub formulation did not show a negative interaction with surgical hand rub or surgical glove perforation. However, it is advisable to ascertain the compatibility of SP/SC products with the used hand disinfectant prior to purchase.
Harnoss, J. C., Brune, L., Ansorg, J., Heidecke, C. D., Assadian, O., & Kramer, A. (2014). Practice of skin protection and skin care among German surgeons and influence on the efficacy of surgical hand disinfection and surgical glove perforation. BMC Infectious Diseases, 14, . https://doi.org/10.1186/1471-2334-14-315