ASA Monitor 1 2019, Vol.83, 44-45.
The director of nursing has announced that disposable bouffant hats will be the only headgear allowed in the surgical suites. You wonder whether there is evidence to show disposable bouffant hats are superior to cloth hats or disposable surgical caps. According to a recent study reviewing the relative performance of disposable bouffant hats compared with cloth hats and disposable surgical caps in a simulated O.R. and product testing lab, which of the following statements is most likely true?
Surgical site infection control has become a priority for hospitals. As a result, many hospital systems have enacted rules in the O.R. suites to attempt to minimize the number of infections, including guidelines regarding surgical attire. Often, such guidelines are not evidence-based. In the available literature, only surgical gloves and nonpermeable surgical gowns have been shown to decrease surgical site infections. Despite these results, many centers have implemented the use of disposable bouffant-style headgear rather than clean, reusable cloth hats or disposable surgical skull caps (Figure 1). Because headgear has been a source of conflict in many centers, the American College of Surgeons and ASA recently funded a study comparing the effects of different types of headgear on several environmental quality indicators using well-defined and validated methods.