Aseptic Technique in Rodent Surgery : Preparation of the Surgeon

Key Points

  • The surgeon should wear appropriate protective clothing to avoid contaminating the surgical site.
  • Wearing a headcover and mask is strongly recommended, but the most important step is for the surgeon to perform effective disinfection of their hands, by “scrubbing up” and then putting on a sterile gown and sterile surgical gloves.
  • The process of hand-washing aims to remove surface dirt and grease from your skin, and allow sufficient contact time with the disinfectant soap to kill or inhibit bacteria in the outer layer of the skin.
  • The only time a scrubbing brush should be used is to clean under your nails, the remainder of the process is just careful and repeated hand-washing.
  • Total contact time varies with the disinfectant used – 5 minutes is recommended for Chlorhexidine and Povidone.

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A comprehensive guide to help research workers apply best practice in aseptic surgical techniques in laboratory rodents.

The material was developed by Newcastle University with the support of the NC3Rs.

National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research. Newcastle University

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