PA-PSRS has received a dozen reports of patients sustaining Betadine® burns in the OR. Skin irritation and severe skin reactions may occur when wet, unevaporated solution comes in prolonged contact with the skin. This may occur following preoperative preparation of a patient. The Betadine solution “pools” beneath the patient, in intertriginous creases, or around the drapes during the surgical procedure. A chemical contact dermatitis may result from a combination of the chemical, heat, and pressure. To reduce this risk, the following pointers are suggested:
- During the surgical preparation process, tucking disposable, absorbent pads beneath the patient to absorb excess Betadine solution.
- Not supersaturating the applicators, so that excess solution does not run off the area bring prepped.
- Removing the absorbent pads prior to draping the patient.
- Following manufacturer’s instructions for proper topical application of Betadine solution to the skin/mucous membranes.
- Purdue Frederick. Answers to most frequently asked questions about Betadine Microbicides [online]. [cited 2005 Jun 27]. Available from Internet: http://woundcare.org.
- Physicians Desk Reference. PDR drug information for Betadine solution [online]. 2004 [cited 2005 Jun 27]. Available from Internet: http://www.drugs.com/PDR/Betadine_Solution.html.