Perioperative participation of orthopedic patients and surgical staff in a nasal decolonization intervention to reduce Staphylococcus spp surgical site infections

Am J Infect Control. 2017 May 1;45(5):554-556. doi: 10.1016/j.ajic.2016.12.021. Epub 2017 Feb 8.


With the goal of reducing rates of surgical site infections in our spine patients, we initiated a trial to investigate the impact of adding perisurgical nasal decolonization involving patients and surgical and nursing staff. We combined immediate presurgical application of a nonantibiotic alcohol-based nasal antiseptic with existing chlorhexidine bath or wipes in a comprehensive pre- and postoperative decolonization protocol. Mean infection rates were significantly decreased by 81% from 1.76 to 0.33 per 100 surgeries during the 15-month trial, when compared with the prior 9-month baseline.

Keywords: Alcohol-based nasal antiseptic; Anterior nares; Perioperative nasal decolonization; Spine surgery; Staff nasal decolonization.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antisepsis / methods*
  • Carrier State / drug therapy*
  • Female
  • Health Personnel*
  • Health Services Research
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nasal Cavity / microbiology
  • Orthopedic Procedures / adverse effects*
  • Patients*
  • Staphylococcal Infections / prevention & control*
  • Surgical Wound Infection / prevention & control*
  • Young Adult