A comparative study between the efficacies of betadine scrub (10%) versus alcohol based hand rub in preoperative hand disinfection

Rahul Kadam, Chinmoy Sharma, Abhaykumar Chhallani, Sunil Yadav


Background: Hand hygiene is a crucial measure for preventing healthcare-related infections. Surgical scrub is an important factor in the safety and success of a surgical operation. The aim of this study was to comparatively evaluate effectiveness of povidone iodine scrub (10%) and alcohol based hand rubs (Sterilium).

Methods: Single centre, double blinded, comparative study performed over a period of 6 months in MGM Medical College and hospital. Sampling was conducted, after the surgeons participating had used either technique for preoperative hand disinfection. Colonies were counted after 48 hours of aerobic incubation at 37°C. Positive cultures were identified and their frequencies were compared. Data were summarized using descriptive statistical methods. Comparison of counts between groups was performed using Chi square test.

Results: From the 100 obtained samples, there was higher number of positive growth in Sterilium as compared to povidone iodine scrub (14% versus 8%) though statistically not significant. Staphylococcus aureus, Staphylococcus epidermidis, Acinetobacter was the most common organism isolated in both the groups.

Conclusions: Povidone-iodine is more efficacious than that of alcohol-based solutions in preoperative hand disinfection.


Alcohol-based solutions, Hygiene, Povidone-iodine, Surgical scrub

Full Text:



Girou E, Loyeau S, Legrand P, Oppein F, Brun-Buisson C. Efficacy of handrubbing with alcohol based solution versus standard handwashing with antiseptic soap: randomised clinical trial. BMJ. 2002;325(7360):36.

Martín-Madrazo C, Salinero-Fort MA, Abanades-Herranz JC, Arnal-Selfa R, García-Ferradal I, Espejo-Matorral F, et al. Effectiveness of a training programme to improve hand hygiene compliance in primary healthcare. BMC Public Health. 2009;9(1):469.

Jarvis WR. Selected aspects of the socioeconomic impact of nosocomial infections: morbidity, mortality, cost, and prevention. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 1996;17(8):552-7.

Plowman R, Graves N, Griffin M, Roberts J, Swan A, Cookson B, et al. The rate and cost of hospital-acquired infections occurring in patients admitted to selected specialties of a district general hospital in England and the national burden imposed. J Hosp Infect. 2001;47(3):198-209.

Maury E, Alzieu M, Baudel JL, Haram N, Barbut F, Guidet B, et al. Availability of an alcohol solution can improve hand disinfection compliance in an intensive care unit. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2000;162(1):324-7.

Soleimanpour J, Tabrizi A, Eskandari M, Asghar Elmi A. A Comparative Study on the Effectiveness of Different Hand Disinfectant Solutions Used in Surgical Scrub. Int J Hospital Res. 2013;2(2):61-3.

Kareem SAMA, Mahmood AA, Husein ZR. Ibn Al-Haithem Teaching Eye Hospital, Baghdad, Iraq. Alcohol Based Handrub versus Traditional Hand Scrub as Surgical hand Disinfection in a Tertiary Eye Teaching Hospital. J Clin Esp Ophthalmology. 2014;5(3): doi:10.4172/2155-9570.1000340.

Kulkarni AP, Awode RM. A prospective randomised trial to compare the efficacy of povidone-iodine 10% and chlorhexidine 2% for skin disinfection. Indian J Anaesth. 2013;57(3):270-5.