Research for infection protection

Preoperative skin antisepsis

When disinfecting surgical sites in operating theatres with a coloured skin antiseptic, it should be considered that

  • the incision might need to be extended or placed at another location
  • the disinfected area is large enough for possible surgical drains (1).

The preparation is applied with a sterile swab. The skin area needs to be thoroughly wetted during the entire exposure time. The patient may not lie in a puddle of antiseptic and the product may not be applied under surgical tourniquets – both may lead to skin necrosis.

Before using electrical devices the skin antiseptic has to dry completely.

So far, studies could not prove that a certain application procedure, e.g. dabbing the preparation from the middle to the sides, has an influence on the antiseptic’s efficacy.

Prävention postoperativer Wundinfektionen.
Empfehlung der Kommission für Krankenhaushygiene und Infektionsprävention (KRINKO) beim Robert Koch-Institut.
Bundesgesundheitsbl 2018; 61:448–473.
(Article in German)