Background and Objectives: Epidural space infection is a potential complication of epidural catheter placement. In this study, we investigated the incidence of epidural needle and catheter contamination after skin surface disinfection with 10% povidone-iodine (PI).
Methods: Sixty seven patients having surgery under epidural anesthesia were enrolled in this prospective study. After preparation with 10% PI, skin swab cultures were taken from the site of catheter insertion. Epidural needles were cultured immediately after epidural catheters were placed. Catheters were removed at 48 hours and 2 to 3 cm of the distal tips were cultured as well.
Results: Fifty-six skin swabs, 52 epidural needles, and 48 catheters were cultured. Although only 3.5% (2) colonization was observed on skin surface cultures, 34.6% (18) of the epidural needles and 45.8% (22) of the catheters were colonized. No systemic or local infection was observed.
Conclusion: Our results suggest that despite skin surface disinfection with PI, there is still significant risk for contamination of needles and catheters during epidural catheterization.
- Epidural infection
- Skin disinfection
- Epidural catheterization
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Presented at 9th World Congress on Pain, August 22-27, 1999, Vienna, Austria.