Shaving Surgical Site Increases Infections

It would seem to be a logical condition of surgery that surgeons first shave areas where the incision would be made. Many surgeons believe it is important to remove anything that would obstruct the place where the surgery takes place. Still other surgeons believe that shaving the area of the surgical entry spot will eliminate bacteria that can attach to hair.
In a recent article in the health section in the New York Times, it was pointed out that research now shows that shaving a patient’s skin before the surgery may actually raise the risk of infection.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), surgical site infections have become a leading cause of complications among hospital patients. This would account for one of five of health-care associated infections. Thousands of deaths are associated with surgical site infections.

The studies found in the journal Spine, examined patients who had spinal surgery. The journal report found that while postoperative infections were low generally, infections were more common among patients who are shaved over those who are not. The experts in this report said that shaving with a razor blade causes microscopic nicks in the skin that can become bacterial breeding grounds.
Now the CDC recommends that hair not be removed unless it interferes with the operation. If shaving is necessary, electrical clippers are recommended.
A study shows that patients with shaved incision sites had a 5.6 percent rate of infection compared to a rate of less than 1 percent of patients whose hair was removed with clippers.
Kreisman Law Offices has been handling medical negligence cases for individuals and families for more than 36 years, in and around Chicago, Cook County and its surrounding areas, including Naperville, Wood Dale, Elgin, Elmwood Park, Evergreen Park, Chicago Heights, Lockport, Romeoville and Aurora, Illinois.
Related blog posts:
Cook County Emergency Room Error Leads to Nurse’s Death – $3 Million Settlement in Sperl v. Advocate Health and Hospitals Corp.

Emergency Room Error Leads to Undiagnosed Aortic Dissection – Cook County Jury Awards $3.7 Million in Estate of Michael Hamilton v. Excell Emergency Care, LLC