Patient Clothing

A measure neglected in most guidelines

Is patient clothing a remarkable aspect in SSI prevention

Is it a matter of course for you that patients do not wear their personal clothing in the operating room, but rather special surgical clothing,e.g. a surgical shirt?

While other aspects of preparing the patient for surgery, such as showering, hair removal and skin disinfection, are mentioned in all guidelines, the wearing of specific clothing for the patient is not addressed in most cases.

Only NICE explicitly includes this measure in its recommendations.1

Guidelines

Guidelines
GuidelineRecommendationCategory (if mentioned)
CDC2--
WHO3--
NICE1

“Give patients specific theatre wear that is appropriate for the procedure and clinical setting, and that provides easy access to the operative site and areas for placing devices, such as intravenous cannulas. Take into account the patient's comfort and dignity.”

-
KRINKO4--

HARTMANN:

Denise Leistenschneider, Senior Clinical Consultant
“If medical staff have to wear special clothing in the operating theatre to protect against the transmission of germs, it seems only logical that the patient should also wear special area clothing.”

Recommended instruction

Patient theatre wear
Patients should wear specialized surgical attire1

  • appropriate to the procedure and clinical setting1

  • that allows unobstructed access to the surgical site and areas where devices need to be placed, such as intravenous cannulas1

  • that takes into account the comfort and dignity of the patient1

Joint guidelines of the Healthcare Infection Society and the European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases5

Statement in this context

“Patients entering an operating theatre are often required to remove their clothing and wear a freshly laundered surgical gown, but this may also be unnecessary and potentially uncomfortable, especially when a person is asked to remove more intimate garments. Little evidence is available regarding whether the practice of changing into theatre attire helps to reduce SSI. In previous guidelines, no recommendation was made as to patients wearing their personal clothes in the theatre, but these guidelines acknowledge that it may not always be necessary for patients to remove all their clothing.”5

Click to see full list References
  1. NICE (2020) Surgical site infections: prevention and treatment. NICE guidelines. Published: 11 April 2019. Last updated:19 August 2020. www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ng125.
  2. CDC (1999) Guideline for Prevention of Surgical Site Infection. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 20(4): 247–278.
  3. WHO (2018) Global guidelines for the prevention of surgical site infection. World Health Organization 2018.
  4. KRINKO (2018) Prävention postoperativer Wundinfektionen. Empfehlungen der Kommission für Krankenhaushygiene und Infektionsprävention (KRINKO) beim Robert Koch-Institut. Bundesgesundheitsbl 61: 448–473.
  5. Humphreys H, et al. (2023) Rituals and behaviours in the operating theatre e joint guidelines of the Healthcare Infection Society and the European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases. J Hosp Infect 140: 165.e1–165.e28.

In focus

Multidrug resistant teaser
Multidrug-resistant organisms

Multidrug-resistant organisms (MDRO) are on the rise worldwide. Due to the limited treatment options for MDRO infections, hygiene management plays a key role in their prevention. Learn all about hygiene measures and effectiveness of disinfectants.

Learn more…

Publications teaser
Publications
Scientists around the world work daily to identify and assess infection risks. This scientific debate is an indispensable prerequisite for increasing the safety of patients and medical staff.

Here you will find a selection of recent studies and publications...
Expert advise
Expert Advice
We are happy to answer your questions about our products, application and compatibility. Our advice covers all topics related to disinfection, hygiene and infection control.

Learn more…

Related & interesting

Risk prevention
Risk prevention

Reduced preparation time in wards and operating theatres means fewer mistakes and more treatment and surgeries.

Learn more here...

Patient underlayer

How to support the change-over process between patients treated in sequential interventions?

Look here for an answer…

Preventia
PREVENTIA® Surgical Irrigation

Surgical irrigation is a crucial measure in preventing SSI. Discover our new fluid to take your common practice to the next level.

Find out more…

PAUL HARTMANN AG processes the personal information provided exclusively for the purpose of customer care. For this purpose we might share your personal information within the responsible employee in the relevant country within the HARTMANN Group. The personal information is not stored, transferred or used for any other purpose. The personal information is not transferred to any third parties outside the HARTMANN Group.