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Antiseptic skin agents to prevent surgical site infection after incisional surgery. A randomized, three-armed combined non-inferiority and superiority clinical trial (NEWSkin prep study).

Smith S, Ridley S, Gani, J, Carroll, R, Lott, N, Hampton, et al.

Ann Surg 2022; 275: 842-848.

In this study that included 3123 procedures, surgical site infection rates were similar with all skin preparations: povidone iodine with alcohol 10.9 per cent; chlorhexidine with alcohol 11.1 per cent;  aqueous povidone iodine 12.6 per cent. There were no adverse events or differences in secondary outcomes.

Comment: This challenges the perceived benefits of alcoholic skin preparation.

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