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Surgical Hand Washing

Process performed prior to any surgical intervention to eliminate as many pathogenic microorganisms from hands and forearms through mechanical washing and disinfection with chemicals.


– Decrease resistant flora of hands and forearms. – Prevent nosocomial infections.


Wide, deep basin with special lever tap.


– Water – Antiseptic soap. – Disposable sterile brush. – Nail cleaner. – Sterile gauze, cloths and towels.


– Duration of washing: 2-5 minutes, depending on the manufacturer’s instructions for the product used.

Preparation for surgical scrubbing: – Keep nails short and remove nail polish. – Remove all jewelry (rings, wristwatches, bracelets) before entering the operating room. – Wash hands, arms and elbows with a non-antiseptic soap before entering the operating room area or if hands are visibly soiled. – Clean the subungual area with a nail cleaner. – Nail brushes should not be used as they may damage the skin and may facilitate cell shedding. Nail brushes, if used, should be sterile and for one-time use only.

Surgical preparation of the hands with an antiseptic soap: – Wet hands. – Apply a sufficient amount of soap to cover the entire surface of the hands. – Start counting the time of the procedure. Rub each side of each finger, between the fingers, the back and the front of the hand for two minutes. – Proceed to rub the forearms, keeping the hand higher than the arm at all times. This helps prevent recontamination of the hands and prevents soap and water from being colonized by bacteria that contaminate the hands. – Wash each side of the arm from wrist to elbow for one minute. – Repeat the process on the other hand, keeping hands above the elbows at all times. – Rinse hands and arms by running them through the water in one direction only, from fingertips to elbow. – With hands above elbows dry hands and arms with a sterile towel or cloth. Use a towel for each arm. At all times during the procedure, care should be taken to avoid splashing surgical garments. – When alcohol hand disinfection is used: – Before applying the alcohol solution perform a forearm and ma- nos pre-wash with normal soap and dry the hands and forearms thoroughly. – Then apply the alcohol solution until hands and forearms are completely dry.


– Do not use nail varnish. – Keep nails short and clean. – Do not wear rings or bracelets.

Evaluation criteria:

No evaluation is available on the effectiveness of hand washing in nursing professionals It is related to the occurrence of nosocomial infections. Therefore, the criteria for its evaluation are related to the effectiveness of other procedures where these measures are applied, such as invasive techniques.[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]

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