Tuesday, August 11, 2015

A key professional habit could be wrong--surgeon changes hand-washing routine

The ten-minute scrub was one of the earliest rituals I had learned, and I thought that it was essential in surgical antisepsis, a crucial step in preventing my patients from developing debilitating postoperative infections. I had believed that my dedication to this operating room rite made me a good and responsible surgeon, but the research contradicted that belief. Suddenly my blind trust in the practice seemed almost foolish.
Pauline W. Chen, Final Exam: A Surgeon's Reflections on Mortality  (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2007), p. 97. (After years of scrubbing for ten minutes with brushes, Chen read CDC guidance that recommended five minutes and said soft sponges were as useful as brushes.)

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