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A 2 minute surgical hand scrub was associated with higher, but not clinically significant, bacteria counts compared with a 3 minute hand scrub

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To determine whether a 2 minute surgical hand scrub is as effective as a 3 minute surgical hand scrub for reducing bacterial growth on the hands of operating room staff.


Randomised crossover study.


The operating room of a 177 bed tertiary care children's hospital in California, USA.


25 staff members (72% women) who worked in the hospital's operating room as perioperative registered nurses (n=21) or surgical technologists (n=4) volunteered to participate. Mean perioperative experience was 6.7 years and hand size ranged from surgical glove size 5.5 to 8.


Participants were allocated to 2 minute or 3 minute scrub times for a first trial, and after a minimum of 7 days were allocated to the alternative scrub time. Participants, under the supervision of the study investigators, scrubbed …

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  • Source of funding: not stated.

  • For article reprint: Dr S Lookinland, Community Health Systems, Fresno, CA, USA. Fax +1 209 266 3876.