Your Name & Designation on Your Scrub Cap Can Make Surgeries That Much Safer

14 December 2022

In 2017, Dr Rob Hackett, a Sydney based anaesthetist, decided to write his name and job title on his scrub cap to avoid mix-ups in the operating theatre. Dr Rob Hackett stated: By knowing someone’s name, it is easier to coordinate critical situations through clear directed instructions.

Dr Karmelle van Rensburg; private anaesthesiologist, South African Society of Anaesthesiologists (SASA) member and previous SARFA chair; is the name that brought this scrub cap initiative to South Africa in 2019. Van Rensburg says that it is not uncommon for surgical teams to consist of up to nine different people, each with a specific role in making sure a surgery runs smoothly. “Most of the time you do not know each other’s names, and you are also not sure which masked and capped colleague is the surgeon, the nurse, the anaesthetist, scrub nurse or the assistant because everyone looks the same. Personalised scrub caps will eradicate team confusion and are a simple, effective and low-cost way to make surgery that much safer”, says van Rensburg. In summary, clarity saves time, and time saves lives.

SASA, in collaboration with Fresenius Kabi SA and TANC, have embraced this initiative, now tagged the #scrubcapchallenge, in order to reduce the risk of delays and miss-identification between colleagues in hospital theatres. Each SASA member, which accounts for over 90 % of anaesthetists (and some anaesthetic nurses) in the country, can now order a scrub cap with their name and designation embroidered on the front.

Be a part of this ‘life saving’ initiative by ordering your personalised scrub cap by visiting

Remember to use the coupon code sasa2022 and select ‘apply coupon’ on check out.

Promoting their personalised scrub caps at the 2019 Anaesthestic Foundation Refresher from left to right: Veronique Donoghue, Pearl Garekoe, Ingrid Kgopana, Sandy Sefike, Lauren Pietersen – Sales & Marketing, Fresenius Kabi South Africa. The caps are available in 2 styles (maggie or standard) and in 31 different colours.