Peri operative nursing care includes nursing care given before (preoperative), during (intraoperative) and after surgery (post operative) (Crisp J &Taylor C 2005:1660). Peri operative nursing is a fast paced, changing and challenging field. Skin preparation is one of the important peri operative procedures. Evidence based practice provides a helpful framework for health care providers in peri operative settings to use research in practice settings (Beyea S 2004:97). In this essay exploration of research evidence around skin care preparation will be discussed. Based on the findings from the research material, conclusion will be drawn.
Surgical site infections are reported to be the third most frequently occurring nosocomial infection
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One goal of SSI risk reduction is to decrease the bacteria count on the skin prior to any procedure while minimizing the potential for skin damage. The Guidelines for Prevention of Surgical Site Infection (1999) provides recommendations concerning reduction of surgical site infection (SSI) risk and first recommendation for pre operative skin treatment is “Whenever possible, identify and treat all infections remote to the surgical site before elective operation and postpone elective operations on patients with remote site infections until the infection has resolved.” This is because skin infection anywhere on body is associated with increased risk of SSI. This may be due to high rate of potential pathogens on the skin but also, if skin infection is chronic, to impair wound healing capacity (Gardlund B 2007:991). Body hair removal and antimicrobial skin prepping are key elements of the preoperative skin preparation process.
The main aim of preoperative skin preparation is to reduce the risk of postoperative infections. For a long time shaving was used as method to remove hairs from surgical site in hospitals. The Centres for Disease Control (CDC, 1999: J1) and the association of Operating Room Nurses (AORN, 1994:196) published recommendations regarding surgical skin preparation. Both recommend that hair be left at the operative site unless it interferes with the procedure or closure of the wound. It was