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Alcohol Based Hand Rubs Vs Handwashing Essay

2433 words - 10 pages





Language and Communication: Final Dianne Pacifico QBT1: Task 4 - Revisions January 29, 2013 Western Governors University

  Alcohol-Based Hand Rubs versus Handwashing Efficacy Hand hygiene has been the foundation of preventing nosocomial infections throughout the hospital. It has been taught for several generations that hand hygiene is effectively accomplish through the use of handwashing with soap and water. Unfortunately, studies have shown that handwashing practices have fallen out, which have led to a noticeably low compliance rate with health ...view middle of the document...



  One of the reasons why hand hygiene practices are not preventing nosocomial infections throughout the hospitals is because the healthcare workers are not compliant with the standard handwashing with soap and water. In a study done over a 2-year period in intensive care units (ICUs) Nebraska, Anderson et al. (2007) introduced the use of alcohol-based rubs into one unit, and did not provide alcohol-based rubs into the other unit. The results of the study indicated that the unit, which was given the hand rubs, had a higher compliance rate than that of the other unit, which did not have the hand rub. The participants of the study made modifications to their hand hygiene behaviors because they noted using the alcohol-based hand rubs prevented skin irritation, did not interfere with their time consuming workload, and did not interfere with the normal flora of bacteria on their own hands. The data collected by Anderson et al. (2007) indicated that after the introduction of hand rubs, the compliance rate among the staff increased from 37% to 68%. Participants from another study also showed an increase in compliance rate while using alcohol-based hand rubs. Brun-Buisson, Girou, Legrand, Loyeau, & Oppein (2002) conducted a study among 23 hospital workers in a three ICUs in a French University Hospital. Every morning during the study, the participants were given an envelope, which randomly assigned them to using either hand rubbing or handwashing as their means for hand hygiene. The objective was to reduce the bacterial colonization with the use of alcohol hand rubs. The results with the efficacy of hand rubs showed 83% reduction of bacteria was achieved versus only 58% efficacy rate with handwashing. With the observations conducted by Brun-Buisson et al. (2002), healthcare workers were



  more prone for compliance because skin tolerance, and reducing hand contamination was better achieved with alcohol rubs. Another study examined the increasing compliance rate with healthcare workers when using alcohol rubs versus handwashing for hand hygiene. Bradley, Kauffman, McNeil, Mody, & Sun (2003) comprised their study by using two floors in a long-term care facility (LTCF), and had one ward use alcohol-based hand rub as their means of hand hygiene, and another ward was instructed to use soap and water for their means of hand hygiene. After, their hands were cultured for Staphylococcus aureus, gram-negative bacilli (GNB), Candida, and vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE). Like similar studies conducted, the healthcare workers reported insufficient time, and skin irritation was a barrier to compliance with hand hygiene. After Bradley et al. (2003) introduced the alcohol-based hand rub to the healthcare workers, it well was accepted and tolerated, leading to a significant increase in frequency in...

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