Visibility of tinted chlorhexidine gluconate skin preparation on varied skin pigmentations

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Preoperative skin preparation with antimicrobial agents decreases the risk of surgical site infection, but concerns have been raised about the visibility of a common surgical preparatory agent (ChloraPrep; Becton, Dickinson & Co, Franklin Lakes, New Jersey), depending on skin pigmentation” McDaniel et al (2016).

Abstract:

Preoperative skin preparation with antimicrobial agents decreases the risk of surgical site infection, but concerns have been raised about the visibility of a common surgical preparatory agent (ChloraPrep; Becton, Dickinson & Co, Franklin Lakes, New Jersey), depending on skin pigmentation. Poor visibility may lead to failure to identify inadequately prepared skin, increasing the risk of surgical site infection. This study was conducted to determine whether different tints of ChloraPrep and different skin pigmentations affect the ability of orthopedic surgeons to identify the adequacy of skin preparation.

The forearms of volunteers in 4 skin pigmentation categories (fair, medium-fair, medium-dark, and dark) were prepared with Hi-Lite Orange and Scrub Teal ChloraPrep, with 1 forearm prepared adequately and 1 prepared inadequately. Videos showing the forearms were obtained and compiled into a survey that was sent to orthopedic surgeons, who were asked to assess the adequacy of skin preparation. When the 4 pigmentation categories were aggregated, no difference was noted between Hi-Lite Orange and Scrub Teal tints in rates of correct identification of adequate skin preparation by respondents. When the preparation tint was not controlled for, respondents correctly identified the adequacy of skin preparation for fair and medium-fair pigmentations, but not for medium-dark and dark skin pigmentations. The Hi-Lite Orange tint was significantly easier to identify on fair and medium-fair skin pigmentations, and the Scrub Teal tint was easier to identify on medium-dark and dark skin pigmentations. To reduce the risk of surgical site infection, surgeons should use Hi-Lite Orange on patients whose skin is fair or medium-fair and Scrub Teal on patients whose skin is medium-dark or dark.

Reference:

McDaniel, C.M., Churchill, R.W. and Argintar, E. (2016) Visibility of Tinted Chlorhexidine Gluconate Skin Preparation on Varied Skin Pigmentations. Orthopedics. September 29th. [Epub ahead of print].

doi: 10.3928/01477447-20160926-01.

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