dog surgical cleaning

When Preparing Veterinary Patients for Surgery Is the Friction (Back and Forth) Method of Scrubbing the Skin More Effective Than Concentric Circles at Reducing Bacterial Levels on the Skin?

Alison Mann

Published:  25/04/2018    in:  Knowledge Summaries
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dog surgical cleaning

PICO question

In veterinary patients is the friction (back and forth) method of scrubbing the skin more effective than concentric circles at reducing bacterial levels on the skin?

Clinical bottom line

Currently there is insufficient evidence to indicate whether the friction (back and forth) method of scrubbing the skin is more effective than the concentric circle method at reducing bacterial levels on the skin.


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  1. Davids, B. I., Davidon, M. J., TenBroeck, S. H., Colahan, P. T. and Oli, M. W. (2015) ‘Efficacy of mechanical versus non mechanical sterile preoperative skin preparation with chlorhexidine gluconate 4% solution’, Veterinary Surgery, Vol 44 (5), pp 648-652. DOI:
  2. McDonald, C. P., Lowe, P., Roy. A., Robbins. S., Hartley, S., Harrison, J. F., Slopecki, A., Verlander, N. and Barbara, J. A. J. (2001) ‘Evaluation of donor arm disinfection techniques’, Vox Sanguinis, Vol 80 (3), pp 135-141. DOI:
  3. Swales, N. and Cogan, T. (2017) ‘Failure to achieve asepsis following surgical skin preparation is influenced by bacterial resistance to Chlorhexidine, but not skin preparation technique’, Veterinary Nursing Journal, Vol 32, (8), pp224-227. DOI:

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Copyright (c) 2018 Alison Claire Mann

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