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The choice between surgical scrubbing and sterile covering before or after induction of anaesthesia: A prospective study

Journal article
Authors Irene Sellbrandt
Metha Brattwall
Pether Jildenstål
Margareta Warrén Stomberg
Jan G Jakobsson
Published in F1000Research
Volume 6
Issue 1019
ISSN 2046-1402
Publication year 2017
Published at Institute of Health and Care Sciences
Language en
Subject categories Anaesthetics


Background: Day surgery is increasing, and safe and effective logistics are sought. One part of the in-theatre logistics commonly discussed is whether surgical scrub and sterile covering should be done before or after induction of anaesthesia. The aim of the present study was to compare the impact of surgical scrub and sterile covering before vs. after the induction of anaesthesia in male patients scheduled for open hernia repair. Methods: This is a prospective randomised study. Sixty ASA 1-3 patients scheduled for open hernia repair were randomised to surgical scrub and sterile covering before or after induction of anaesthesia; group “awake” and group “anaesthetised”, respectively. Patients and theatre nurses were asked about their experiences and willingness to have the same logistics on further potential surgeries, through a survey provided before post-surgery. Duration of anaesthesia, surgery, theatre time, recovery room stay and time to discharge was studied. Results: There was no difference in the patients’ assessment of quality of care, and only one patient in the awake group would prefer to be anaesthetised on a future procedure. All nurses found pre-anaesthesia scrubbing acceptable as routine. The duration of anaesthesia was shorter and doses of propofol and remifentanil were reduced by 10 and 13%, respectively, in the awake group. Time in recovery area was significantly reduced in the awake group (p<0.05), but time to discharge was not different. Conclusion: Surgical scrub and sterile covering before the induction of anaesthesia can be done safely and without jeopardising patients’ quality of care.

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