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Preoperative Intranasal Decolonization with Topical Povidone-Iodine Antiseptic and the Incidence of Surgical Site Infection: A Review

Vidmi Taolam Martin, Mohamed Abdullahi Abdi, Jie Li, Dongtai Li, Zhaozhen Wang, Xianliao Zhang, Welera Haissou Elodie, Bo Yu

(Department of Orthopedic and Traumatology, Zhujiang Hospital, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou, Guangdong, China (mainland))

Med Sci Monit 2020; 26:e927052

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.927052

ABSTRACT: Surgical site infection (SSI) occurs at the incisional site of a surgical procedure and usually involves the skin. The use of antibacterial courses to manage SSIs is still very challenging in clinical settings. When not used appropriately, antibacterial agents can lead to increased rates of adverse events. However, various antibacterial agents that can destroy the growth of bacteria are now available. This article aims to discuss the role of preoperative intranasal decolonization with topical povidone-iodine antiseptic in the incidence of SSI based on a review of the literature.
Topical bactericidal agents can be administered intranasally before surgery to eliminate potentially harmful bacteria, including antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria. Therefore, a few studies have recommended the use of intranasal povidone-iodine solution in the clinical setting; however, it also appears to be a promising antiseptic regimen for preoperative decontamination in patients planned to undergo surgery. Povidone-iodine is a commonly used medical antiseptic agent that is used by surgeons to promote wound healing and prevent postoperative bacterial infections. Chlorhexidine gluconate is both an antiseptic and a disinfectant, which is used to clean the skin and surgical instruments. Our review of the literature on studies on the effectiveness of intranasal povidone-iodine in the reduction of intranasal bacterial colonization and the prevention of SSI identified only 5 controlled clinical studies. One study, however, showed increased effectiveness in preventing SSI when topical intranasal povidone-iodine was combined with the use of chlorhexidine gluconate washcloths. Further large-scale controlled clinical studies are needed before proper guidelines can be made.

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