Water Wastage At The Scrub Sink: Critical evaluation and recommendations

Al-Qahtani, Ali S. and Mesahel, Farouk M. A. (2004) Water Wastage At The Scrub Sink: Critical evaluation and recommendations. The Internet Journal of Surgery, 20 (1). pp. 1-4.

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Objectives: To look critically at wastage of water during the process of surgical hand-scrub in the operating theatre at a time water is scarce and one of the most precious commodities in many parts of the world, and to recommend efficient methods of scrubbing with no or minimal waste of water. Methods: A prospective single-blinded study conducted in the operating theatre of the Armed Forces Hospital, Wadi Al-Dawasir, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia during the month of April 2008, where subjects were unaware of being timed during scrubbing. The amount of water collected in a bucket from the scrub tap over a minute is measured. Unaware members of the surgical team will be timed while scrubbing for the actual contact of hands to water when rinsing the antiseptic with predetermined 3- and 10-minute amount of flowing water. Then the estimated amount wasted in a year will be calculated. Seven other hospitals were visited to observe their hand-scrub techniques. A telephone inquiry was also conducted to establish the type of hand-scrub system in 18 hospitals at different locations in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Results: The amount of water collected in the bucket in a minute in the scrub sink of the Armed Forces Hospital, Wadi Al- Dawasir, was 4320ml. During the month of the study, there were 815 scrub cycles performed by members of the surgical team, 118 times with 3-minute short scrub cycle and 697 times using the 10-minute scrub cycle. The mean actual time the hands came in contact with the flowing water was 0.7 min (range: 0.5-0.9 min) in the 3-minute scrub cycle, and 1.6 min (range: 1.2-2.2 min) in the 10-minute scrub cycle. This represents an actual washing time of 23.3% in the 3-minute and 16% in the 10-minute scrub cycles. Following calculations, the annual average of wasted water was 318588.3 liters. Out of the 7 hospitals visited and the 18 hospitals contacted, only one uses the light-sensor activated water taps. Conclusion: The medical profession is not practising in isolation of society's concerns. To prevent the huge water loss at the scrub sink we recommend the use of surgical hand rub or the installation of light-sensor activated water taps.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Medicine and Surgery
Divisions: College of Medicine > Medicine and Surgery
Depositing User: Dr.Ali Alqahtani
Date Deposited: 14 Nov 2017 17:12
Last Modified: 14 Nov 2017 17:12
URI: http://eprints.kku.edu.sa/id/eprint/1852

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