A novel device for preoperative skin preparation to reduce the risk of injury and surgical site infection during lower limb surgery

Webb, J.; Hilliam, R. and Bainbridge, L. (2018). A novel device for preoperative skin preparation to reduce the risk of injury and surgical site infection during lower limb surgery. Journal of Perioperative Practice, 28(5) pp. 109–114.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/1750458918767544

Abstract

Surgical site infection (SSI) continues to be a feared complication of surgery but especially orthopaedic surgery where a superficial SSI has been estimated to add nine days to the hospital stay and an average of £2500 to the cost. Despite the efficacy of all skin preparation agents being maximal at around 10 minutes no current system, apart from the double prep method attributed to Sir John Charnley, allows adequate control of bacteria. Current techniques of skin preparation require lifting of the limb with an associated risk of injury to theatre operatives.

In order to provide for longer duration of contact, potentially better antisepsis and to remove the dangers inherent in lifting the limb we developed a novel system for limb antisepsis prior to surgery.

To demonstrate efficacy we performed a single blind randomised controlled trial powered to demonstrate non-inferiority. We demonstrated a significant benefit of the device in terms of bactericidal effect. Whilst only recently entering full production, we would recommend the system as a significant improvement over current techniques of limb antisepsis.

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