WHO warns against shaving surgical patients — 4 takeaways

The World Health Organization strongly discourages shaving surgical sites with a razor blade because it raises the risk of surgical site infections, the Daily Nation reports.

What you should know:

1. The WHO urged healthcare providers to avoid removing hair unless it will interfere with a surgery.

2. When hair removal is necessary, electrical clippers should be used in lieu of a razor blade.

3. Razor blades create nicks in the skin that can become breeding grounds for bacteria, causing SSIs. SSIs account for nearly one-fifth of healthcare-associated infections annually.

4. Patients with shaved incision sites had a 6 percent infection rate. Less than 1 percent of patients whose hair was removed using clippers got infections, according to a CDC study.

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