Routine Shaving Prior To Surgery

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724.8 – Evidence-Based Practice & Applied Nursing Research Research Integration 724.8.3-06 Western Governors University A. Routine Shaving Prior to Surgery 1. Surprisingly, many hospitals continue this practice, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. This practice leads to increased risk of infection to the patient. 2. These types of practices are controlled by the Medical Advisory Boards of the various hospitals. Many hospitals continue this practice to allow for the area to be sterilized prior to the procedure, not giving credibility to the mounting evidence that this practice increases the infection risk when weighed against either clipping the area or using depilatory creams (Tanner J, N. 2011). 3. A review of the literature indicated that there was no evidenced based rationale for the removal of hair at the operative site, unless it interfered with the actual procedure. There was no increase in infection when comparisons were made between allowing the hair to remain, versus hair removal, by any means. There was an increase in the infection rate when a comparison was made between allowing the hair to remain versus shaving. Shaving, even if done correctly, nicked the skin and allowed for pathogen entry prior to surgery. The rate of infection did decrease substantially in the shaved patients if the shaving was done at the time of surgery rather than the customary day prior. Each of the article cited years’ worth of data collection in studies around the world with thousands of patient’s total. In all of the articles they noted that the resistance to changing this procedure is due to custom and practice (Prevention of Surgical Site Infections n.d.). 4. Based upon a review of the literature, if the practice of shaving was eliminated in totality or at least substituted with clipping in more hospitals, the incidence of

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