SCRUB, GOWN, AND GLOVE PROCEDURES
Section I. INTRODUCTION
a. Discussion. All members of the sterile team are required to perform a
surgical hand scrub and don sterile gown and gloves before touching sterile equipment
or the sterile field. The correct performance of these procedures helps protect a patient
from infection by preventing pathogenic (disease-producing) microorganisms on the
hands, arms, and scrub clothes of "sterile" team members from coming into contact with
a patient's wound during an operation. Infection that may result from the introduction of
pathogenic microorganisms into a wound could prove fatal to the patient.
(1) The surgical scrub is a systematic washing and scrubbing of the hands
and forearms using especially developed techniques and the most effective antibacterial
cleaning agent available for such use. This procedure is done to render the hands and
arms as free as possible from microorganisms. The skin cannot be sterilized without
destruction of tissue, but as many bacteria as possible can be removed by a thorough
hand and arm scrub, making the skin surgically clean.
(2) Gown and glove procedures, which are performed following the
surgical scrub, involve the donning of sterile surgical gowns and gloves in such a way
as to maintain the sterility of the outside of both gown and gloves.
b. Purpose of the Procedures. Scrub, gown, and glove procedures are
performed to eliminate some of the controllable sources of contamination in the
performance of aseptic procedures. The operating room specialist assigned to scrub for
an operation should adhere absolutely to the exacting techniques. The specialist must
scrub his hands and arms for a prescribed length of time or for a prescribed number of
brush-strokes. Such techniques will keep the patient as free from microorganisms as
possible. The scrub dons sterile gown and gloves to provide a sterile covering for his
clothing and hands.
c. Handwashing By the Circulating Specialist (Circulator). Although the
circulator is not required to perform a surgical scrub, he should wash his hands
thoroughly between tasks for his own protection and for that of the patient.
Handwashing is an important factor in preventing the spread of disease. Nowhere is
this procedure more important than in the operating room where the body defenses of
the patient are weakened both by the disorder that makes his surgery necessary and by
the surgery itself.