Delirium is an important syndrome affecting inpatients in various hospital settings. This article focuses on multidisciplinary and interdepartmental collaboration for advancing efforts in delirium clinical care and research. One model for such collaboration is represented by the Johns Hopkins Delirium Consortium, which includes members from the disciplines of Nursing, Medicine, Rehabilitation Therapy, Psychology, and Pharmacy within the Departments/Divisions of Anesthesiology, Geriatrics, Oncology, Orthopedic Surgery, Psychiatry, Critical Care Medicine, and Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at both the Johns Hopkins Hospital and Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center. This paper describes the process involved in developing functional collaboration around delirium, and highlights projects, opportunities, and challenges resulting from them.
Delirium care and prevention; inpatient care; interdisciplinary; collaboration
Background and Purpose:
Pain after hip fracture repair is related to worse functional outcomes and higher fracture care costs than that for patients with no or less pain. However, to our knowledge, few studies have examined the roles of hip fracture type or surgical procedure as factors influencing postoperative pain or opioid analgesic requirements. Our goal was to determine whether the type of hip fracture or hip fracture repair affects postoperative pain or opioid analgesic requirements in the elderly patient.
We conducted a retrospective review of 231 patients ≥65 years old admitted to a hip fracture center for surgical repair. Fracture patterns were classified into femoral neck (FN) versus intertrochanteric (IT), stable versus unstable, and type of surgical repair. Demographic and intraoperative variables, postoperative pain scores, and opioid analgesic use data were collected and analyzed according to the type of hip fracture and type of surgical repair.
There were no differences in postoperative pain when comparing FN versus IT fractures, stable versus unstable fractures, or type of surgical repair. Patients with FN fractures had higher analgesic requirements on postoperative days 1, 2, and 3. There was no difference in postoperative analgesic requirements among patients with stable versus unstable fractures or type of surgical repair. Otherwise, there were no differences in postoperative pain or opioid analgesic use based on the surgical repair or fracture type. Overall, patients with hip fracture experienced low levels of pain.
hip fracture; pain; postoperative management; femoral neck fracture; intertrochanteric fracture
Time to surgery, which includes time in the emergency department (ED), is important for all patients with hip fracture. We hypothesized that patients with hip fracture spend significantly more time in the ED than do patients with the top 5 most common conditions. In addition, we hypothesized that there are patient, physician, and hospital factors that affect the length of time spent in the ED. We retrospectively reviewed our institution’s hip fracture database and identified 147 elderly patients with hip fractures who presented to our ED from December 18, 2005, through April 30, 2009. We reviewed their records for patient, practitioner, and hospital factors of interest associated with ED time and for 6 specified time intervals. Average working, boarding (waiting for an inpatient room), and total times were calculated and compared with respective averages for admitted ED patients with the top 5 most common conditions. Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed before and after adjusting for confounders (significance, P = .05). The mean total ED time (7 hours and 25 minutes) and working time (4 hours and 31 minutes) for patients with hip fracture were similar to the respective overall averages for admitted ED patients. However, the average boarding time for patients with hip fracture was 2 hours 44 minutes, longer than that for other patients admitted through the ED. Factors significantly associated with longer ED times were a history of hypertension, history of atrial fibrillation, the number of computed tomography scans ordered, and the occupancy rate. Admission to the hip fracture service decreased working time but not overall time. Substantial multidisciplinary work among the ED, hospital admission services, and physicians is needed to dramatically decrease the boarding time and thus the overall time to surgery.
hip fracture; emergency department; occupancy rate; wait time; admitting service
Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) is the most common infectious cause of nosocomial diarrhea in elderly patients, accounting for 15% to 25% of all cases of antibiotic-induced diarrhea in those patients. Virulent forms of this organism have developed, increasing the associated morbidity, mortality, and complication rates. The average patient undergoing total joint arthroplasty is at particular risk of CDI because of advanced age, the use of prophylactic antibiotic coverage in the perioperative period, multiple comorbid conditions, and length of hospital stay. In addition, patients who have had one CDI are at risk of another; the rate of recurrent CDI (RCDI) is 15% to 30%. To review the available information on RCDI, we conducted an extensive literature search, focusing on its epidemiology and the management strategies for its treatment and prevention. We found the management of RCDI is a controversial topic, with as yet no consensus regarding specific treatment guidelines. Several experienced clinicians have published suggested treatment algorithms, but they are based on anecdotal experience. With regard to the prevention of RCDI, the literature is scarce, and currently, the only effective strategies remain judicious use of perioperative antibiotics and appropriate implementation of infection control procedures. There are several vaccination medications that are currently being studied but are not yet ready for clinical use. We agree with the approach to management of RCDI that has been proposed in several articles, that is, on confirmation of a first recurrence of CDI by a stool toxin assay and clinical symptoms, a 14-day course of metronidazole or vancomycin; for a second recurrence, a tapered-pulsed course of vancomycin; and, for 3 or more recurrences, a repeat course of the tapered-pulsed vancomycin and adjunctive Saccharomyces boulardii or cholestyramine.
recurrent; Clostridium difficile; infection; arthroplasty
Periprosthetic fractures of the femur in association with total hip arthroplasty are increasingly common and often difficult to treat. Patients with periprosthetic fractures are typically elderly and frail and have osteoporosis. No clear consensus exists regarding the optimal management strategy because there is limited high-quality research. The Vancouver classification facilitates treatment decisions. In the presence of a stable prosthesis (type-B1 and -C fractures), most authors recommend surgical stabilization of the fracture with plates, strut grafts, or a combination thereof. In up to 20% of apparent Vancouver type-B1 fractures, the femoral stem is loose, which may explain the high failure rates associated with open reduction and internal fixation. Some authors recommend routine opening and dislocation of the hip to perform an intraoperative stem stability test to rule out a loose component. Advances in plating techniques and technology are improving the outcomes for these fractures. For fractures around a loose femoral prosthesis (types B2 and 3), revision using an extensively porous-coated uncemented long stem, with or without additional fracture fixation, appears to offer the most reliable outcome. Cement-in-cement revision using a long-stem prosthesis is feasible in elderly patients with a well-fixed cement mantle. It is essential to treat the osteoporosis to help fracture healing and to prevent further fractures. We provide an overview of the causes, classification, and management of periprosthetic femoral fractures around a total hip arthroplasty based on the current best available evidence.
periprosthetic fracture; femur; total hip arthroplasty; Vancouver type; stem
Our goal was to determine whether there were age-related differences in pain, opiate use, and opiate side effects after total hip or knee arthroplasty in patients 60 years old or older. We hypothesized that there would be no significant differences between age groups in (1) mean pain score, (2) opiate use after adjusting for pain, or (3) opiate side effects after adjusting for opiate use and pain score. We retrospectively reviewed the electronic and paper charts of all patients undergoing total joint replacements at our institution over 3 years who met the following criteria: (1) 60 years old or older, (2) primary single total knee or total hip replacement, and (3) no preoperative dementia. Preoperative, intraoperative, and postoperative course data were collected using a customized data entry process and database. We divided the patients into 2 age groups, those 60 to 79 years old and those 80 years old or older. Using a marginal model with the panel variable of postoperative day, we investigated the associations between age group and pain, age group and pain adjusting for opiate use, and age group and complications (respiratory depression, naloxone usage as a measure of respiratory arrest, delirium, constipation, and urinary retention) adjusting for opiate use (Xtgee, Stata10, Stata Corp. LP, College Station, Texas). Significance was set at P < .05. We found no significant difference in pain scores between groups, but the older group had significantly fewer opiates prescribed yet significantly more side effects, including delirium (odds ratio 4.2), than did the younger group, even after adjusting for opiate dose and pain score.
opiates; pain; hip replacement; knee replacement; elderly
Poor screw purchase because of osteoporosis presents difficulties in ankle fracture fixation. The aim of our study was to determine if cortical thickness, unicortical versus bicortical purchase, and bone mineral density are predictors of inadvertent screw stripping and overtightening. Ten paired cadaver ankles (average donor age, 81.7 years; range, 50-97 years) were used for the study. Computed tomography scanning with phantoms of known density was used to determine the bone density along the distal fibula. A standard small-fragment, 7-hole, one-third tubular plate was applied to the lateral surface of the fibula, with 3 proximal bicortical cortical screws and 2 distal unicortical cancellous screws. A posterior plate, in which all 5 screws were cortical and achieved bicortical purchase, was subsequently applied to the same bones and positioned so that the screw holes did not overlap. A torque sensor was used to measure the torque of each screw during insertion (Ti) and then stripping (Ts). The effect of bone density, screw location, cortical thickness, and unicortical versus bicortical purchase on Ti and Ts was checked for significance (P < .05) using a general linearized latent and mixed model. We found that 9% of the screws were inadvertently stripped and 12% were overtightened. Despite 21% of the screws being stripped or being at risk for stripping, we found no significant predictors to warn of impending screw stripping. Additional work is needed to identify clinically useful predictors of screw stripping.
insertion torque; stripping torque; bone density; inadvertent stripping; ankle fracture
Osteoarthritis is a highly prevalent and debilitating joint disorder. There is no effective medical therapy for osteoarthritis due to limited understanding of osteoarthritis pathogenesis. We show that TGF–β1 is activated in the subchondral bone in response to altered mechanical loading in an anterior cruciate ligament transection (ACLT) osteoarthritis mouse model. TGF–β1 concentrations also increased in human osteoarthritis subchondral bone. High concentrations of TGF–β1 induced formation of nestin+ mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) clusters leading to aberrant bone formation accompanied by increased angiogenesis. Transgenic expression of active TGF–β1 in osteoblastic cells induced osteoarthritis. Inhibition of TGF–β activity in subchondral bone attenuated degeneration of osteoarthritis articular cartilage. Notably, knockout of the TGF–β type II receptor (TβRII) in nestin+ MSCs reduced development of osteoarthritis in ACLT mice. Thus, high concentrations of active TGF–β1 in the subchondral bone initiated the pathological changes of osteoarthritis, inhibition of which could be a potential therapeutic approach.
It has been suggested that variances in the anatomy of the acetabulum determine the type of hip fracture in elderly patients. Based on this concept, an overly anteverted acetabulum would lead to impingement of the femoral neck against the posterior rim of the acetabulum, causing a femoral neck fracture, whereas with a retroverted acetabulum, external rotation of the hip would be limited by the capsular tissues attached to the trochanteric region, causing a trochanteric fracture. To test the hypothesis that acetabular version predicts hip fracture type in elderly patients, we measured acetabular version using computed tomography scans for 135 patients with hip fracture. Logistic regression analysis was used to check for an association between version angle and fracture type. No significant relationship between acetabular version and fracture type was found. Therefore, we conclude that acetabular version angle does not predict hip fracture type in the elderly, and our data do not support the impingement concept as the mechanism of hip fractures.
hip fracture; elderly; femoral neck fracture; trochanteric fracture
Locking plates are commonly used to treat fractures around a well-fixed femoral component. The optimal construct should provide sufficient fixation while minimizing soft-tissue dissection. The purpose of the current study was to determine whether plate length, working length, or bone mineral density affects survival of locking plate fixation for Vancouver type B1 periprosthetic hip fractures. A transverse osteotomy was created just distal to cemented femoral prostheses in 9 pairs of cadaveric femurs. Fractures were stabilized with long (20-hole) or short (12-hole) locking plates that were secured proximally with cables and screws and distally with screws only. Specimens were then cycled 10 000 times at 2500 N of axial force and 15 Nm of torque to simulate full weightbearing. A motion capture system was used to record fracture displacement during cycling. Failure occurred in 5 long and 3 short plates, with no significant differences found in the number of cycles to failure. For the specimens that survived, there were no significant differences found between long and short plates for displacement or rotation observed at the fracture site. A shorter working length was not associated with increased failure rate. Lower bone mineral density was significantly associated with failure (P = .02). We concluded that long locked plates do not appear to offer a biomechanical advantage over short locking plates in terms of fixation survival, and that bone mineral density was a better predictor of failure than was the fixation construct type.
periprosthetic fracture; femur; locking plate; working length; fixation
To test the hypotheses that, compared with controls 1) femoroplasty (the injection of bone cement into the proximal femur in an attempt to prevent fragility fracture) increases the yield and ultimate loads, yield and ultimate energies, and stiffness of the proximal osteoporotic femur in a simulated fall model; and 2) the manner in which the cement distributes in the proximal femur affects the extent to which those mechanical properties are altered.
In 10 pairs of osteoporotic human cadaveric femora, we injected 1 femur of each pair with 40 -- 50 mL of polymethylmethacrylate bone cement; the noninjected femur served as the control. The filling percentage was calculated in 4 anatomical regions of the femur: head, neck, trochanter, and subtrochanter. All specimens were biomechanically tested in a configuration that simulated a fall on the greater trochanter. Student's t test, linear regression, and multinomial logistic regression statistical analyses were conducted where appropriate, with significant difference defined as P < 0.05.
Femoroplasty significantly increased yield load (22.0%), ultimate load (37.3%), yield energy (79.6%), and ultimate energy (154%) relative to matched controls, but did not significantly change stiffness (-10.9%). There was a strong (r2 = 0.7) correlation between yield load and filling percentage in the femoral neck.
This study showed that 1) femoroplasty significantly increased fracture load and energy to fracture when osteoporotic femora were loaded in simulated fall conditions and 2) cement filling in the femoral neck may have an important role in the extent to which femoroplasty affects mechanical strength of the proximal femur.
femoroplasty; hip fracture; osteoporosis; prophylactic; bone cement
Femoroplasty, the augmentation of the proximal femur, has been shown in biomechanical studies to increase the energy required to produce a fracture and therefore may reduce the risk of such injuries. The purpose of our study was to test the hypotheses that: (1) 15 mL of cement was sufficient to mechanically augment the proximal femur, (2) there was no difference in augmentation effect between cement placement in the intertrochanteric region and in the femoral neck, and (3) cement placement in the femoral neck would predispose the proximal femur to an intertrochanteric fracture, whereas trochanteric placement would result in subtrochanteric fractures. In each of 18 pairs of osteoporotic human cadaveric femora, 15 mL of polymethylmethacrylate bone cement was injected into the trochanteric or femoral neck region of 1 femur, and the noninjected femur was used as the control. The augmentation effect of femoroplasty was evaluated under simulated fall conditions using a materials testing machine. Multiple linear regressions incorporating random effects were used to check for associations between covariates (bone mineral density, cement location, and treatment) and the parameters of interest (stiffness, yield energy, yield load, ultimate load, and ultimate energy). Significance was set at P < .05. It was found that femoroplasty with 15 mL of cement did not significantly increase stiffness, yield energy, yield load, ultimate load, or ultimate energy relative to paired controls. There were no significant differences in parameters of interest or fracture patterns in specimens augmented in the femoral neck versus the trochanter. It was concluded that 15 mL of cement was not sufficient to augment the proximal femur and that there was no biomechanical advantage to the placement of cement within the femoral neck versus the trochanter.
femoroplasty; cement augmentation; hip fracture; osteoporosis; fracture prevention
It is unclear if a decrease in cancellous bone density or cortical bone thickness is related to sacral insufficiency fractures. We hypothesized that reduction in overall bone density leads to local reductions in bone density and cortical thickness in cadaveric sacra that match clinically observed fracture patterns in patients with sacral insufficiency fractures. We used quantitative computed tomography to measure cancellous density and cortical thickness in multiple areas of normal, osteopenic, and osteoporotic sacra. Cancellous bone density was significantly lower in osteoporotic specimens in the central and anterior regions of the sacral ala compared with other regions of these specimens. Cortical thickness decreased uniformly in all regions of osteopenic and osteoporotic specimens. These results support our hypothesis that areas of the sacrum where sacral insufficiency fractures often occur have significantly larger decreases in cancellous bone density; however, they do not support the hypothesis that these areas have local reduction of cortical bone thickness.
Our goal was to determine whether the pullout strength of stripped screw holes in osteoporotic bone could be increased with readily available materials from the operating room. We inserted 3.5-mm stainless steel nonlocking self-tapping cortical screws bicortically into 5 osteoporotic humeri. Each screw was first stripped by rotating it 1 full turn past maximum torque. In the control group, the screw was pulled out using an MTS machine (858; MTS Inc, Eden Prairie, Minnesota). In the treatment groups, the screw was removed, the hole was augmented with 1 of the 3 materials (stainless steel wire, polysorb suture, or polyethylene terephthalate glycol plastic sheet), and the screws were replaced and then pulled out. The effect of material on pullout strength was checked for significance (P < .05) using a general linearized latent and mixed model (Stata10; StataCorp, College Station, Texas). The mean (95% confidence interval) pullout strength for the unaugmented hole was 138 N (range 88-189), whereas the holes augmented with plastic, suture, or wire had mean pullout strengths of 255 N (range 177-333), 228 N (range 149-308), and 396 N (range 244-548), respectively. Although wire augmentation resulted in pullout strength that was significantly greater than that of the unaugmented screw, it was still below that of the intact construct.
screw stripping; osteoporosis; bone density; inadvertent stripping; ankle fracture; humerus fracture
Based on a multi-factorial model of delirium, we compared the types and magnitude of pre- and intra-operative predisposing factors for incident delirium in a stratified sample of acute hip fracture repair patients with and without pre-operative dementia.
DESIGN and SETTING
A prospective cohort study based in an academic medical center.
425 non-delirious, acute hip fracture patients (mean age: 80.2 +/− 6.8; female: 73.2%; “probable dementia”: 33.1%) admitted to the multi-disciplinary hip fracture repair service.
Each participant was assessed for delirium by a research nurse based on the Confusion Assessment Method (CAM) before study enrollment and from the second postoperative day until hospital discharge.
The incidence of delirium was higher in the Probable Dementia Group than in the No Dementia Group (54% vs. 26%; p≤ 0.001). In the No Dementia group (n = 284), age (OR: 1.07; 95% CI: 1.02-1.13), male gender (OR: 2.81; 95% CI: 1.40-5.64), BMI (OR: 0.92; 95% CI: 0.86-0.99), number of medical comorbidities (OR: 1.15; 95% CI: 1.01-1.32), and duration of surgery longer than two hours (OR: 2.53; 95% CI: 1.20-4.88) were independently associated with a post-operative delirium. In the Probable Dementia group, only the lag time from emergency room to operation room was significantly associated (OR: 2.83; 95% CI: 1.24-2.25) with delirium.
Pre-operative determination of dementia status is important for risk stratification for incident delirium after acute hip fracture repair surgery because types and magnitude of predisposing risk factors for post-operative delirium substantially differ based on their pre-operative dementia status.
dementia; delirium; hip fracture; surgery; risk factor
This case presents a discussion of a 92-year-old man with multiple comorbidities, who presents with a subtrochanteric fracture. His course is complicated by large volume blood loss intraoperatively, requiring intensive care unit (ICU) monitoring postoperatively. His course is also complicated by delirium.
dementia; delirium; fragility fractures; systems of care; physical therapy
Perioperative management of patients with heterozygous protein C deficiency is challenging because of the competing risks of bleeding and recurrent thrombosis.
We report the case of a 74-year-old man with protein C deficiency and heterozygous prothrombin G20210A gene mutation who had a successful left THA with perioperative administration of human zymogen protein C concentrate in addition to anticoagulation with enoxaparin.
Several studies have reported the use of protein C concentrate in severe sepsis-associated purpura fulminans in patients with severe congenital protein C deficiency who have had thrombotic events. We reviewed studies and case reports pertinent to the treatment of patients with protein C deficiency, especially in the perioperative setting. We report the case of a patient undergoing THA in whom we used human zymogen protein C concentrate.
Purposes and Clinical Relevance
THA, a particularly high-risk procedure, is associated with a 40% to 70% incidence of venographic deep venous thrombosis and a 2% to 3% incidence of symptomatic deep venous thrombosis. These risks are greater in people with thrombophilic defects such as protein C deficiency. The use of human zymogen protein C in our patient with heterozygous protein C deficiency during the perioperative period of a THA was associated with no evidence of excessive bleeding, hematoma, deep venous thrombosis, or pulmonary embolism.
The purpose of our study was to biomechanically compare, under cyclic loading conditions, fracture site motion, humeral head collapse, and intra-articular hardware penetration in simulated 3-part osteoporotic proximal humeral fractures stabilized with 1 of 2 locking-plate constructs. We performed fixation on simulated 3-part proximal humeral fractures in 10 pairs of cadaveric osteoporotic humeri with a Hand Innovations S3 Proximal Humerus Plate (S3 plate) or an LCP Proximal Humerus Plate (LCP plate; 1 each for each pair). The specimens were potted, mounted on a materials testing machine, and subjected to 5000 cycles of abduction in the scapular plane, loading through the supraspinatus tendon. Interfragmentary displacement at 2 virtual points (the most medial aspect of the calcar and the most superior aspect of the osteotomy line between the greater tuberosity and humeral head) was measured using an optical tracking system. Humeral head rotation was also measured. We used a generalized linear latent and mixed model to check for an effect of cyclic loading and treatment on the parameters of interest (significance, P < .05). After cyclic loading, the S3 plate humeri showed significantly greater displacement of the greater tuberosity fragment and rotation of the humeral head and a trend (not a significant difference) toward greater displacement at the calcar. No hardware penetration was noted for either repair. Although the S3 plate repairs resulted in significantly more fracture site motion, it is unknown whether the magnitude of the motion is clinically significant.
proximal humerus fracture; locking plates; biomechanics; osteoporosis
OBJECTIVE: To determine whether limiting intraoperative sedation depth during spinal anesthesia for hip fracture repair in elderly patients can decrease the prevalence of postoperative delirium.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: We performed a double-blind, randomized controlled trial at an academic medical center of elderly patients (≥65 years) without preoperative delirium or severe dementia who underwent hip fracture repair under spinal anesthesia with propofol sedation. Sedation depth was titrated using processed electroencephalography with the bispectral index (BIS), and patients were randomized to receive either deep (BIS, approximately 50) or light (BIS, ≥80) sedation. Postoperative delirium was assessed as defined by Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (Third Edition Revised) criteria using the Confusion Assessment Method beginning at any time from the second day after surgery.
RESULTS: From April 2, 2005, through October 30, 2008, a total of 114 patients were randomized. The prevalence of postoperative delirium was significantly lower in the light sedation group (11/57 [19%] vs 23/57 [40%] in the deep sedation group; P=.02), indicating that 1 incident of delirium will be prevented for every 4.7 patients treated with light sedation. The mean ± SD number of days of delirium during hospitalization was lower in the light sedation group than in the deep sedation group (0.5±1.5 days vs 1.4±4.0 days; P=.01).
CONCLUSION: The use of light propofol sedation decreased the prevalence of postoperative delirium by 50% compared with deep sedation. Limiting depth of sedation during spinal anesthesia is a simple, safe, and cost-effective intervention for preventing postoperative delirium in elderly patients that could be widely and readily adopted.
Trial Registration: clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT00590707
Use of light propofol sedation decreased the prevalence of postoperative delirium by 50% compared with deep sedation. Limiting depth of sedation during spinal anesthesia is a simple, safe, and cost-effective intervention for preventing postoperative delirium in elderly patients that could be widely and readily adopted.
Multimodal anesthetic and pain regimens with minimally invasive surgical approaches and rapid rehabilitation protocols are thought to decrease length of stay after hip replacement. We asked whether a program including these three elements could achieve 23-hour discharge in a group of 665 patients and whether the length of hospital stay was influenced by patient age, gender, body mass index, change in hemoglobin or estimated blood loss, duration of surgery (≤ 90 or > 90 minutes), or American Society of Anesthesiologists physical status classification. Of the 665 patients, 259 (38.9%) were discharged home with indwelling peripheral nerve catheters. Hospital discharge in less than 24 hours was achieved in 295 (44.4%) of the 665 patients. After discharge, 73.5% of patients required no home or outpatient nursing care or physical therapy. Eighteen (2.7%) dislocations, eight (1.2%) femoral fractures requiring surgery, and thirteen (2.0%) revision procedures occurred within 90 days. Female gender, increasing age, increasing estimated blood loss, and American Association of Anesthesiologists classification 3 or 4 increased length of stay. Additional study is needed to confirm these factors and develop prospective prediction rules to allow for an outpatient approach to joint arthroplasty.
Level of Evidence: Level II, therapeutic study. See Guidelines for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.
Objective: Site marking is essential to prevent wrong-site surgery, and there are many skin markers commercially available. However, preoperative skin preparation can erase the site mark, especially when a chlorhexidine skin preparation solution that requires skin scrubbing is used. The purpose of our study was to test the hypothesis that some markers can withstand skin preparation with a chlorhexidine-based skin preparation solution in a manner similar to that of an iodine-based solution. Methods: On each of 5 cadaveric skin flaps, we made 2 rows of site markings with 9 types of markers. We then subjected one row of markings on each flap to a chlorhexidine-based solution and the other row to an iodine-based solution. A digital photograph was taken before and after each skin preparation. Using imaging software, the contrast in grayscale between the skin and skin marking was measured on each photograph. The effect of the type of marker and skin preparation solution on the difference in grayscale contrast was evaluated by multiple linear regression analysis and significant differences were determined (P < .05). Results: In all cases, the chlorhexidine-based skin preparation solution significantly decreased the contrast measured. No marker was significantly better than another. Conclusions: We conclude that all 9 skin markers are significantly erased with the chlorhexidine-based skin preparation solution. The development of a better skin marker or a chlorhexidine-based skin preparation solution that does not erase site markings is essential to prevent wrong-site surgeries and promote patient safety.