Mandatory Headwear Does Not Reduce Surgical Site Infections

Bouffant Surgical Cap (L) & Surgical Skull Cap (R)
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Surgical site infections are a costly health complication. Patients with such infections tend to have longer stays in both the ICU and the hospital. They are also at a higher risk of readmission or death. 

In order to better address this issue, hospital policy in the US was changed in February 2016 and surgeons were obligated to wear a bouffant cap instead of traditional caps in order to prevent infections from occurring. 

A study was conducted to compare these two types of headwear in order to observe any comparable differences between the two. Researchers acquired infection data from hospital infection control monthly summary reports. They obtained nearly 15000 surgical procedures 13 months before and 13 months after surgical caps were banned at a surgical site which had 25 operating rooms. Researchers then categorised the data into non-bouffant and bouffant groups and collected monthly and infection rates for both the before and after patients. 

Findings showed no statistical significance of infection risk whether the surgeon was wearing a bouffant cap or another form of headwear. It was thus concluded that in this population of patients undergoing surgical procedures, the elimination of the traditional surgeon's cap did not reduce infection rates and thus, should not be mandated. 


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Published on : Sun, 14 May 2017



surgical site infections, headwear, bouffant surgical cap, surgical skull cap Surgical site infections are a costly health complication. Patients with such infections tend to have longer stays in both the ICU and the hospital. They are also at a higher risk of readmission or death.

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