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Preventing neurosurgery surgical wound infection

Certain bacteria, including Methicillin Sensitive Staphylococcus Aureus (MSSA) and Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA), are found naturally on many peoples’ skin and inside their noses. These germs are usually harmless and do not cause any problems.

However, we know that people who carry greater amounts of these germs are at higher risk of surgical wound infections. To try and help reduce the risk there are some things we would like you to do.

Before surgery

Before surgery, there are a few things you need to do to prepare your child for their surgery, including:

  • making sure their fingernails are clean and cut short. Wounds can sometimes be itchy, and any dirt from under their fingernails can be introduced into wounds.
  • giving your child a bath or shower the night before and morning of surgery. Please take care especially in their groin area and their armpits.
  • washing their hair so it is clean, and making sure they have no nits.
  • rinse off any soap thoroughly.
  • dry using a clean towel.

Prontoderm foam

Prontoderm foam reduces bacteria on the skin. After bathing your child, apply Prontoderm foam to their whole body including hair and scalp and allow to dry naturally. Do not wash this off. It is very important the foam is left on the skin as this is how it works.

This washing regime will continue during your child’s stay at the hospital.

Prontoderm nasal gel

Prontoderm nasal gel is an antimicrobial which reduces bacteria in the nose that could get into the surgical wound.

This gel must be applied inside your child’s nostrils 3 times a day starting the day before their surgery.

Place a small amount of the ointment (about the size of a match head) on a piece of gauze or cotton bud and applied to the inside of each nostril. Then press the sides of their nose to close them together, which spreads the ointment around their nostrils.

This regime will continue during your child’s stay at the hospital.


  • Avoid getting the foam or gel in contact with the eyes. If they do get into the eyes, eyes should be thoroughly rinsed with plenty of water.
  • These drugs should not be used in people with known sensitivity or allergy to any ingredient. Please inform your doctor or pharmacist if you have previously experienced such an allergy.
  • If you feel you have experienced an allergic reaction, stop using this medicine and inform your doctor or pharmacist immediately.
  • Wash your hands after applying the foam and gel.

What else we do to reduce the risk of an infection?

After surgery

If your child has a dressing on, please leave it undisturbed for at least 48 hours unless there is a clinical need to look closely at the wound.

If there is no dressing, keep the wound dry and do not let your child touch it or get it wet. After 7 days, you can wash the wound, but remember to rinse it well and dry it with a clean towel.  Do not submerge a wound in the bath for at least 2 weeks. Quick showers are fine.

At home

At discharge you will be given a post-operative advice resource and given enough Prontoderm foam and nasal gel for 5 days.

If you have any concerns about your child’s wound, please do not hesitate to call the ward for advice. This resource only gives general information. You must always discuss the individual treatment of your child with the appropriate member of staff. Please do not rely on this advice alone for information about your child’s treatment.

Contact us

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Ward 5 on 0114 271 7784.

Further information

Please read our resource for more information about risks of anaesthetics.

Is something missing from this resource that you think should be included? Please let us know

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Please note: this is a generic information sheet relating to care at Sheffield Children’s NHS FT. These details may not reflect treatment at other hospitals. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professionals’ instructions. If this resource relates to medicines, please read it alongside the medicine manufacturer’s patient information leaflet. If this information has been translated into another language from English, efforts have been made to maintain accuracy, but there may still be some translation errors. If you are unsure about any of the guidance in this resource or have specific questions about how it relates to your child, always ask your healthcare professional for further advice.

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