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The Importance of Keeping Noses Clean
Nasal decolonization should be a key component of every facility’s infection prevention strategy.
Sue Barnes, RN, BSN, CIC, FAPIC
Publish Date: May 24, 2021   |  Tags:   Infection Prevention
Nasal decolonization
TRIED AND TRUE The use of nasal hygiene is supported by a wealth of research reporting the effectiveness of a consistently followed decolonization program in decreasing SSI risk. (Note: Photo taken before the COVID-19 pandemic.)

Considering the astronomical costs associated with even a single surgical site infection (SSI), it makes sense to take every possible precaution to mitigate the risks. But one safeguard that doesn’t always get the attention it deserves is nasal decolonization. The nose is a primary reservoir for Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus), and a lack of nasal hygiene increases the risk of SSIs in patients. There’s a wealth of research reporting the effectiveness of a consistently followed nasal decolonization program in decreasing post-op infection risk. 

This extra level of protection should be standard practice at your facility because the safest approach is universal nasal decolonization of your surgical patients. 

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