Objective: The objective of this study was to determine the frequency of positive cultures of the surgical gown cuffs among scrubbed personnel prior to and immediately after orthopaedic surgical procedures performed on client-owned dogs.
Study design: In this cross-sectional study, the left and right surgical gown cuffs of three scrubbed persons in 10 orthopaedic surgical procedures were individually sampled using a sterile wipe prior to and immediately after surgery in order to determine the frequency of and risk factors associated with positive bacterial cultures.
Results: Fifty of 120 (41.6%) cultures were positive with an even distribution before and after surgery. The three most common genera were Staphylococcus, Corynebacterium and Streptococcus. Using multivariable logistic regression models, humidity in the operating room (odds ratio: 1.04, 95% confidence interval: 1.00-1.08; p = 0.038) and the number of individuals scrubbed into surgery (odds ratio: 0.59, 95% confidence interval: 0.39-0.91; p = 0.016) had a significant effect on the likelihood of positive culture after surgery. Of the nine patients available for follow-up, one dog developed osteomyelitis.
Conclusions: Maintaining the humidity in the operating room to the lowest comfortable level may reduce contamination of the surgical gown cuffs. Confirmation of bacterial contamination of surgical gown cuffs warrants adherence to operative guidelines to minimize the risk of surgical gown cuffs' contact with sterile attire, equipment and the surgical field during surgical procedures.
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