A RANDOMISED CONTROLLED TRIAL TO COMPARE THE EFFECTS OF TWO METHODS OF PREOPERATIVE HAIR REMOVAL ON SURGICAL SITE INFECTIONS IN PATIENTS UNDERGOING ELECTIVE TYMPANOPLASTY
Journal of Evolution of Medical and Dental Sciences
BACKGROUND From time immemorial, ever since the principles of disinfection were being brought into being, it has been noticed that it is the seemingly simple and easy steps that brought giant breakthroughs in infection control. For example, the introduction of alcoholbased handrub by health care workers in a hospital in central India gave a complete reduction in the bacterial flora in the hands.  Similarly, preparation of surgical site before skin incision has been the convention. Skin
... ation is done by disinfecting the area with a cleaning solution (soap, spirit, povidone-iodine). Staphylococcus aureus is the commonest organism in site infection. Aim-This randomised controlled trial was planned to evaluate which method of pre-operative hair removal, clipping or shaving is less likely to cause surgical site infection. MATERIALS AND METHODS Consenting patients undergoing tympanoplasty were randomised by permuted block randomisation to pre-operative hair removal by shaving or clipping with allocation concealment from the investigator. A blinded assessor used the ASEPSIS scoring method to grade the wound healing. RESULTS Of the 64 patients undergoing tympanoplasty enrolled into the study 62 showed satisfactory healing when graded by the ASEPSIS score and 2 (3.1%) had disturbances of healing, while there were no incidents of mild, moderate or severe surgical site infection. Though both incidents of delayed wound healing were in the group where hair removal was done by shaving. No significance could be attributed to these findings. CONCLUSION Though two subjects developed disturbances in healing, they could be treated and could go home by the seventh day. There were no patients who had mild, moderate or severe surgical site infection as graded by the ASEPSIS score. This shows that good preoperative preparation and strict enforcement of aseptic precautions can reduce the number of surgical site infections irrespective of the method of hair removal.