Skin Preparation for Surgery
Surgeons waste time and energy scrubbing. Hand washing is advocated for interrupting the spread of nosocomial bacteria, despite microbacteriologic evidence that neither procedure is as effective as rinsing with a disinfectant. Labbaraque advocated the use of chlorinated water in 1825; Semmelweis demonstrated the ineffectiveness of hand washing with soap and water 22 years later and validated the use of calcium hypochlorite in striking human experiments. Our burden today is to convince surgeons to save time and prevent dermatitis and yet achieve safe hands by the application of a suitable combination of detergents and disinfectants.