Antibacterial efficacy of surgical scrubbing solutions

Muthanna Medical Journal
Volume 5, Issue 1, June 2018, Pages 21-34

Research Article

Bassam F. Izalddin¹*

* Correspondence author:
¹Al Muthanna University/ College of Medicine/Department of Surgery
Received 24 December 2017, Accepted 28 March 2018, Available online 10 April 2018.
This is article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Copyright © 2018BI


Surgical scrubbing with antibacterial solutions is an important step in surgical operations to reduce the incidence of surgical site infection. The aim of study is to evaluated superiority of one of three surgical scrubbing solutions commonly used (povidone iodine, chlorhexidine and aqueous alcohol) by studying their antibacterial action on the skin of the hands of the operating personale. Ninety hands of surgeons, assistants and nurses were included in this study at Al Kindy Teaching Hospital from 1 June, 2011 to 1 Feb, 2012. Divided into three groups each with 30 hands according to the antiseptic solution used for scrubbing  (chlorhexidine ( group 1); povidone iodine (group 2) and  ethanol alcohol (group 3), hand prints were cultured as a baseline, immediately and 30 minutes after scrubbing for both gram +ve and gram –ve bacteria and a total of 540 culture medias were studied. In our study Staphylococcus aureus was the only gram positive transient bacteria found in the culture medias with a baseline ranged (0-5) colonies in group 1, (0-5) colonies in group 2 and (0-7) colonies in group 3 and all were removed immediately after scrubbing with all antiseptic solutions. Staphylococcus epidermidis was the only residents bacteria found in all the hands with a baseline ranged (10-60) colonies in group 1, (12-62) colonies in group 2 and (10-56) colonies in group 3. This bacterium was reduced to low levels immediately after scrubbing with all antiseptic solutions and completely removed after 30 min in group 2, 3 and reduced to lowest level in group 1. Gram –ve bacteria was not found in the entire three groups. In addition to that, fungi were found in all our study groups in a range of (0-7) colonies in groups 1, (0-8) colonies in group 2 and (0-8) colonies in group 3 and all of them were removed by scrubbing with all antiseptic solutions. We concluded that Povidone iodine was more effective in eradicating or reducing of both gram +ve resident and transient bacteria and fungi.

Key words:  Chlorhexidine; Povidone iodine; Ethanol alcohol; Scrub

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