Document Detail

Surgical hand scrubs in relation to microbial counts: systematic literature review.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  16768741     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
AIM: This paper reports a systematic review whose objective was to determine the effectiveness of surgical hand scrubs in relation to bacterial growth on the hands of operating room staff members.
BACKGROUND: Despite the need for surgical hand scrubs, evidence shows that frequent and prolonged use of antiseptics and brushes may damage the skin. Consequently, lesions may appear, become more heavily colonized by microorganisms and increase the risk of transmitting infection to patients. Recommendations about surgical hand scrubs vary widely and their effectiveness in relation to microbial counts is unknown.
METHOD: A variety of healthcare databases were searched covering the period between January 1990 and December 2004. Based on selection criteria, the abstracts of studies identified were checked to determine whether they fulfilled the inclusion criteria. All studies were assessed as having adequate methodological quality. Using Cochrane Review Manager 4.2 software, weighted mean difference and 95% confidence intervals were calculated.
FINDINGS: Three studies were included in this review. Two studies compared the effectiveness of surgical hand scrubs using an alcohol-based product and a 6-minute scrub using 4% chlorhexidine gluconate; meta-analysis showed a statistically significant difference (weighted mean difference = -0.63, 95% confidence intervals = -0.99 to -0.27, P = 0.0006). One study compared the effectiveness of 2- and 3-minute surgical hand scrubs using 4% chlorhexidine gluconate; meta-analysis showed no difference (weighted mean difference = 0.29, 95% confidence intervals = -0.13 to 0.71, P = 0.18).
CONCLUSION: Surgical hand scrubs using an alcohol-based product were more effective than a 6-minute scrub using 4% chlorhexidine gluconate. There is no evidence to support a 2-minute surgical hand scrub as being more effective than a 3-minute one using 4% chlorhexidine gluconate.
Hsiu-Fang Hsieh; Hua-Hsien Chiu; Feng-Ping Lee
Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Meta-Analysis; Review    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of advanced nursing     Volume:  55     ISSN:  0309-2402     ISO Abbreviation:  J Adv Nurs     Publication Date:  2006 Jul 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2006-06-13     Completed Date:  2006-11-02     Revised Date:  2013-05-29    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7609811     Medline TA:  J Adv Nurs     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  68-78     Citation Subset:  IM; N    
Nursing Department, Fooyin University, Kaohsiung Hsien, Taiwan.
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MeSH Terms
Anti-Infective Agents, Local
Chlorhexidine / analogs & derivatives
Colony Count, Microbial
Hand / microbiology*
Hand Disinfection / methods*
Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
Time Factors
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Alcohols; 0/Anti-Infective Agents, Local; 55-56-1/Chlorhexidine; MOR84MUD8E/chlorhexidine gluconate

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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