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Sharpless surgery: a prospective study of the feasibility of performing operations using non-sharp techniques in an urban, university-based surgical practice.
Makary MA; Pronovost PJ; Weiss ES; Millman EA; Chang D; Baker SP; Cornwell EE 3rd; Syin D; Freischlag JA
World J Surg 2006 Jul; 30(7):1224-1229
CONTEXT: Percutaneous injuries occur frequently during surgical procedures and represent a significant occupational hazard to operating room personnel. OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the feasibility of performing select general surgical procedures using a combination of non-sharp devices and techniques to replace the conventional use of scalpels and needles. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: Candidate procedures for which sharpless techniques could replace conventional scalpels and suture needles were identified preoperatively in an urban, university-based general surgical practice over a 1-year period (June 2003-June 2004). Non-sharp techniques included monomeric 2-octyl cyanoacrylate adhesive, electrocautery, tissue stapler, and minimally invasive instrumentation. Conventional scalpels and suture needles were readily available and used whenever necessary. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: We rated the feasibility of performing specific procedures without sharps. We also documented the rate of overall reversion to sharps during operations on patients that had been identified preoperatively as candidates for sharpless surgery. RESULTS: Of 358 procedures performed in the general surgery university practice, 91 were identified preoperatively as appropriate for sharpless surgery. Of these, 86.8% (79/91) were completed without the use of sharps, including 13/22 (59.1%) open laparotomy procedures, 20/22 (90.9%) laparoscopic procedures, and 46/47 (97.8%) soft tissue procedures. Intraoperative reversion to sharps occurred in 12 cases when deemed necessary by the surgeon. CONCLUSIONS: Select common procedures can be performed entirely with sharpless techniques, eliminating the risk to surgical personnel associated with intraoperative percutaneous injuries.
Accidents; Surgery; Needlestick-injuries; Medical-personnel; Doctors; Nurses; Treatment; Infection-control; Humans; Men; Women
Martin A. Makary, Department of Surgery, John Hopkins University School of Medicine, Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, Baltimore, Maryland 21224, USA
Issue of Publication
World Journal of Surgery
Johns Hopkins University
Page last reviewed: May 5, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division