Effect of Antiseptic Handwashing vs Alcohol Hand Sanitizer

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Effect of Antiseptic Handwashing vs Alcohol Sanitizer on Health Care- Associated Infections in Neonatal Intensive Care Units Introduction This article seeks to determine if alcohol hand sanitizers are as effective as antiseptic handwashing at reducing or eliminating health care associated infections in a neonatal intensive care unit. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, recommends use of waterless alcohol hand products in lieu of traditional handwashing for patient care, but there is little data demonstrating the impact of this recommendation on health-associated infections. Protection of Human Participants 76.8% (119/155) of eligible nurses agreed to participate in the study…show more content…
* Measurements of nurses skin condition and microbial density on hands compared using t test data obtained via crossover studies. Hand hygiene practices were reported on nurse diary cards and quality scores from direct observation were compared between products (ALC – hand sanitizer containing 61% ethanol and emollients or CHG – antiseptic detergent containing 2% chlorhexidine gluconate) with 10,000 patient days of follow up and overall infection rate of 14 per 1,000 patient days. * The study had more than 90% power to detect a risk ratio between the two treatment groups of 1.6. For bloodstream infections with 5500 catheter days of follow up and a rate of 17.5 per 1000 catheter days, we had 90% power to detect a risk ratio of 1.5. Additionally, with 1500 infants, the study had 90% power to detect an odds ratio of 1.4. Findings/Interpretation Numerous studies have confirmed the efficacy of alcohol based products, reported microbicidal effects of hand sanitizer containing 61% ethanol and emollients (ALC) as good or superior to those of other antiseptics. Several studies have shown better removal of methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus or vancomycin resistant enterococci from the hands of health care workers by ALC when compared with antiseptic detergent containing 2% chlorhexidine gluconate (CHG). A recent study by Pittet,, J.M., showed over a three year period that when the use of alcohol rubs increased from 3.5 to 16.4

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