EPIDEMICS OF POSTOPERATIVE WOUND INFECTIONS ASSOCIATED WITH HAIR CARRIERS
Infarction, Middle Cerebral Artery
Two outbreaks of postoperative wound infections were attributed to staff carrying Staphylococcus aureus in their hair. One doctor was associated with eleven severe wound infections on a general surgical ward and a staff nurse on the renal-transplant ward was associated with five minor wound infections. In addition to the carrier state, other factors which contributed to the severity of infection included a reduced blood-supply with excessive necrotic tissue and dead space at the operative site in the general surgery patients and poor host resistance among the renal dialysis and post-transplant patients. During epidemics of wound infections it is important to routinely take cultures from hair and subungual spaces in addition to nose and throat. Povidone-iodine shampoo and adequate hair covering for staff are recommended to reduce shedding in the operating-theatre. © 1973.
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