Alice, (background) wearing perineal fallout detecting headgear
on duty in the never ending war against infection inducing perineums.
Alice, "What exactly is perineal fallout?"
If you recall from your most basic anatomy class, the skin is composed of layers. The outer layer is continually being sloughed off into the atmosphere forming a potentially infectious fog that spreads like radiation. It is especially prevelant where skin rubs together in areas like hairy masculine thighs or other skin folds.
Is perineal fallout a gender issue restricted to men?
No of course not. In my Operating Rooms, women wear scrub skirts as orderd in the Bible. Just read Deuteronomy 22:5. Women wear undergarments under their skirts that trap and contain perineal fallout so it's not a big issue.. Who knows what those hairy surgeons have under those baggy scrub pants, but I suspect there are huge colonies of microorganisms just itching to be set free and cause a very nasty infection.
What can be done to prevent dreaded perineal fallout?
Like everything else in nursing, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Men should always have perineal fallout contained by ankle constrictions. I'm from the old school and back in my day we had scrub pants with elastic ankles. This worked like a charm. The best substitute for elastic cuffs, that I've come up with is rubber bands so the next time you unwrap your copy of The Chicago Tribune, be sure to save the rubber band and bring it to work. Waste not - Want not.
Years ago we had other measures to combat those pesky crotch bacteria. One of my all time surgical heroes, Joseph Lister, sprayed carbolic acid all around the room during surgery. I don't want any complaints about that caustic fog of carbolic acid burning your eyes or constricting your airway, it's one of the sacrifices we make for our patient in the never ending battle against perineal fallout.
Alice was a true crusader in the battle against perineal fallout. Sometimes nurses that came before me harbored customs and beliefs that were not rooted in science. The way I viewed the perineal fallout issue was that any escaping microorganisms would wind up on the floor which was by it's nature is contaminated. So what is the big deal?
It did not really pay to argue with people like Alice. Empirical beliefs that stood the test of time were usually very fixed. I don't know if modern nurses have encountered this issue, but perineal fallout made for much argument and discussion back in the day. About the only people Alice could cajole into her rubber banding were hapless first year residents. Too much arguing with attending surgeons was hazardous to continued employment.
Alice would really have fun with OR staff and nurses in general now that everyone wears scrub pants which were her true nemesis if found sans her ever present rubber bands.