Doc, Put on Your Surgical Gown Without Help

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Contamination risk is lower when surgeons put on their surgical gowns without help from surgical assistants before going into the operating room, according to a study published in the Journal of Orthopaedic Trauma.

Researchers at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center in Oklahoma City assessed possible sterility breaches by simulating a two-person procedure in which a technician unfolds a surgical gown and holds it open for the surgeon to put on. The researchers monitored for possible contamination by coating the surgical technicians’ gowns with resin that glows in ultraviolet light and checking to see if any of the substance was present on the surgeons’ gowns after the procedure.

There was evidence of possible cross-contamination in 67 percent of the 27 gowning procedures, which were performed by three orthopaedic surgeons and three technicians. All cases of contamination involved the sleeves of the surgical gowns, and the highest risk was observed in the tallest surgeon, regardless of the height of the surgical technician.

Sourced from: Journal of Orthopaedic Trauma