Pre-incision skin antisepsis: practice patterns among surgeons in Nigeria

  • I.B. Ulasi
  • A.I. Michael
  • O.O. Ayandipo
Keywords: Skin antisepsis, Pre-incision, Pattern, Surgeons, Nigeria


Background: Although studies are rife on preoperative skin antisepsis, little is known about what surgeons in Nigeria practice.
Objective: To describe the pattern of practice of skin antisepsis prior to skin incision among surgeons in select tertiary hospitals in Nigeria.
Method: This was a questionnaire-based descriptive cross-sectional survey involving surgeons and surgeons in training in the departments of surgery, obstetrics and gynaecology (O&G), otorhinolaryngology (ENT), and oral & maxillofacial surgery (OMS) of 26 select tertiary hospitals from all six geopolitical zones in Nigeria. Data was analysed using version 23 of the SPSS for Windows.
Results: A total of 200 surgeons participated in the study with a male-to-female ratio of 9:1. The mean age was 37.2 ± 5.2 years. Senior registrars constituted 60.5% (n=121), followed by registrars (24%; n= 48) and consultants (15.5%; n= 31). The respondents performed a mean volume of 4 surgeries per week. Their most common practice is to perform skin preparation with 3 antiseptic agents with skin scrubbing lasting for 3-4 minutes. Skin scrubbing was performed for longer duration amongst consultants compared with senior registrars and registrars. Of all the surgical wounds encountered in their practice, 57%were clean. The common complications associated with the use of these antiseptic agents include allergic dermatitis and blisters.
Conclusion: The practice of pre-incision skin antisepsis varies widely among Nigerian surgeons. The majority use 3 antiseptic agents for skin antisepsis although most of the procedures performed were clean surgeries. We recommend further studies to standardize our practice locally.


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eISSN: 1597-1627