Guideline Authors Answer Questions About Surgical Attire

On Saturday afternoon, five of the AORN Guidelines for Perioperative Practice authors and over 100 attendees participated in a “Buzz Session: The AORN Guidelines.”

The buzz session had no formal presentation and was a discussion between authors Julie Cahn, DNP, RN, CNOR, RN-BC, ACNS-BC, CNS-CP, Karen DeKay, MSN RN CNOR CIC, Erin Kyle, DNP, RN, CNOR, NEA-BC, Byron Burlingame, MS, RN, CNOR, Lisa Spruce, DNP, RN, CNS-CP, CNOR, ACNS, ACNP, FAAN, and attendees.

The authors fielded questions about open cases, transport of instruments, complementary care, floor cleaning, surgical counts, and more. But the most discussed topic was surgical attire.

Spruce says the guideline for surgical attire has been revamped.

“Attire has been extensively revised,” Spruce said. “When someone has asked me what has changed with the guideline, I say everything has changed.”

The soon-to-be-released revised guideline says when it comes to head coverings in the OR the head must be covered, but the type of covering is up to the individual facility.

This updated guideline will be available on the AORN Facility Reference Center on July 1 and in the print version of Guidelines for Perioperative Practice in January 2020. AORN is presenting a live webinar on surgical attire on April 25.

Spruce says the head covering update isn’t the only change – the protocol for jackets is also changing. The updated guideline states you may wear a jacket during skin prep, but it is optional and determined by the facility.

Bryan from Washington asked how long it takes for regulatory agencies and facilities to adopt changes to the Guidelines once they are released.

“The Joint Commission was involved, in fact they provided us many comments,” Spruce said. “As for CMS and the states, they usually follow pretty quickly.”

Another question came from an attendee about nail polish in the OR.

“What is currently in the guideline for hand hygiene will remain. With the attire guideline update, that’s not changing,” Kyle said.

Susan from Pittsburgh asked if there were any recommendations for caring for a patient with a corn allergy. She says she can’t find any evidence on this topic.

“Just because there is no research doesn’t mean that it’s not a problem,” Kyle said.

She says pharmaceuticals are turning to more corn-based additives rather than wheat-based due to the increase in gluten sensitivities.

Kyle asked the room if anyone in attendance had any experience with corn allergies in the OR, but there was no response.

“This is an opportunity to do some research,” she added.

If you have a question about a guideline, you can call and talk to a Guidelines author on the Nurse Consult Line Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 9am–1pm, MT at 800-755-2676.

If you would like to hear all of the questions and answers from this buzz session, listen to it on the Expo App under the “Recorded Sessions” tab.