Chapter 2: Table of Contents
Skin Preparation of the Limb
Skin preparation of a limb involves the same steps as any other surgical site. A disinfectant soap scrub is first applied using the sponge side of a brush, gauze sponges or cotton. Five minutes of contact time is recommended, after which the suds can be removed from the skin surface using clean paper towels or gauze. The surgical site is then wiped with isopropyl alcohol to remove the remainder of the soap, disinfect and help dissolve oils. The shaved area is typically wiped three times starting at the proposed incision site and working towards the edges of the shaved area. Following this, an antiseptic solution is applied to the surgical site to allow further bacterial killing to occur. The antiseptic solution of choice usually contains a higher concentration of the active agent used to perform the initial soap scrub and also contains alcohol. The alcohol and antiseptic solution are painted on the skin with a cotton ball or a gauze swab, or can be sprayed on the skin surface.