Credit: Danny Feld/ABC Television Group © 2010 Disney    
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Grey's Anatomy

Do Surgeons Use Hand Sanitizers as an Alternative to Scrubbing In?

As Meredith Grey can attest, there's no telling when a bottle of Purell might come in handy. When Oliver had an aortic dissection in last week's episode of Grey's Anatomy (Season 7, Episode 15), Meredith and Teddy rushed him into emergency surgery, and Mer fished out a bottle of hand sanitizer from her pocket. But let's talk turkey here. Is that magical goo really a worthy substitute for "scrubbing in"?

We asked Dr. Richard Lee of Northwestern University if this alternative was viable. (As a cardiac surgeon, he's sort of the Teddy Altman of Northwestern.)

"In this case, it is very accurate," he said. "We routinely use a hand sanitizer at Northwestern like they did in this episode, which is as effective as the traditional 10 minute scrub. It has been a major advance in situations like these where every second counts."

So there you go. Smart thinking, Mer — and good on ya, writers.


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