Brushless Surgical Scrubbing and Handwashing

Authored by: David W. Hobson , Lawton Anthony Seal

Handbook of Topical Antimicrobials

Print publication date:  September  2002
Online publication date:  September  2002

Print ISBN: 9780824707880
eBook ISBN: 9780203909256
Adobe ISBN:


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The practice of surgery is an ancient medical art that derives its name from the Latin word chirurgia, derived from the Greek cheiros (hand) and ergon (work). Thus, due to the very nature of their work, surgical professionals realize the importance of their hands to their livelihood as well as that of their patients. Surgical team members are also generally knowledgeable and appreciate the importance of good surgical handwashing practices in caring for their patients, as well as in infection control, and ascribe to some regimen for hand antisepsis that has been proven effective by research and practical experience. In these days of growing concern over transmission of diseases caused by drug-resistant and increasingly pathogenic microorganisms, surgical personnel, as well as other healthcare practitioners, should not be too surprised that implementation of proven handwashing procedures that are in compliance with recommended standards and guidelines is considered by many infection control professionals to be a cornerstone to addressing this growing challenge. Most hospitals today have formalized infection control procedures designed to establish and monitor in-house infection control practices. Due to this increasing need for vigilance in our infection control practices, handwashing standards and guidelines, which had their basis in medicine in the nineteenth century, are still being reviewed and updated, even as we move into the twenty-first century.

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