Advertisement Pre-surgical hair removal: Can risk of HAI be reduced?

Hair removal—when needed to prepare the skin prior to certain procedures—is important in the prevention of hospital-acquired infection (HAI). Recommended by several guidelines,* the clipping method has broad support for promoting patient safety.1

Clippings, cleanup—and cross contamination?

Acceptance of these recommendations

is now very high, with 98% of surveyed OR staff reporting compliance with clipping vs shaving.1

However, the cleanup of

surgical hair clippings remains a hot infection prevention topic; in the same survey of 250 AORN participants, complete removal of clipped hair was ranked as important as the control of OR traffic in improving surgical outcomes.1

Hair clippings, which contain the same pathogenic bacteria as skin, can be left behind on patients, linens, and the floor. HAI outbreaks have been traced to organisms isolated from hair or scalp.2,3

While adhesive tape is commonly used to clean up hair

clippings, there’s evidence for an associated risk of cross- contamination. In one study, 74% of used adhesive tape rolls exhibited potentially pathogenic bacteria, and on some tape rolls, these colonies were too numerous to count.4

In another

study, 100% of adhesive tape rolls cultured 1–7 days after initial use (n=23) were contaminated with Pseudomonas, E. coli, Klebsiella, Enterobacter, and coagulase-positive staphylococci. And, about 20% of the tape rolls migrated to at least one different location in the unit.5

Furthermore, adhesive tape

and sticky mitts have been shown to strip skin and cause micro-abrasions, increasing the risk of infection.6

Clearly there

is a need to advance the cleanup method of hair clippings. ClipVac™

hair removal system eliminates

clipping cleanup—and promotes HAI prevention.

ClipVac captures hair clippings right at the source

* Association of Perioperative Registered Nurses (AORN); Centers for Disease Control (CDC); Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee (HICPAC); 2008 Compendium; Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI); Surgical Care Improvement Project (SCIP); Association of Surgical Technologists (AST).

References: 1 Xi H, Pearson L, Perl TM. Minimizing hair dispersal. Is this an opportunity in HAI prevention. IDWeek, October 7-11, 2015, San Diego, CA, USA. 2 Dineen P, Drusin L. Epidemics of postoperative wound infections associated with hair carriers. Lancet. 1973;2(7839):1157-9. 3 Mastro TD, Farley TA, Elliott JA, Facklam RR, Perks JR, Hadler JL, et al. An outbreak of surgical-wound infections due to group A streptococcus carried on the scalp. N Engl J Med. 1990;323:968-72. 4 Redelmeier DA, Livesley NJ. Adhesive tape and intravascular-catheter- associated infections. J Gen Intern Med. 1999;14:373-375. 5 Berkowitz DM, Lee WS, Pazin GJ, Yee RB, Ho M. Adhesive tape: potential source of nosocomial bacteria. Appl Microbiol. 1974;28(4):651-654. 6 Data on file. Bioscience Laboratories, Inc. on behalf of Surgical Site Solutions, Inc.

A recent innovation in infection prevention is vacuum-assisted surgical clipping with the ClipVac hair removal system. ClipVac is the one-step solution for more effective and efficient surgical hair cleanup that eliminates the need for tape or mitts. A small, portable vacuum with a single-use vacuum tip and filtered reservoir, ClipVac attaches to CareFusion surgical clippers to create a complete hair removal system. ClipVac captures hair clippings as the hair is cut at the source. An average of 98.5% of the clipped hair and debris are captured by the filter,6

which is

then disposed of after each use, thereby eliminating the risk of cross-contamination associated with adhesive tape cleanup.

Learn more at ASCA 2016 in BD booth 604 or visit

© 2016 BD. BD, the BD logo and ClipVac are trademarks of Becton, Dickinson and Company. SU6297

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