EQUUS - - Eq Medicalfront -

A al­co­hol-based hand san­i­tizer may be as ef­fec­tive as sur­gi­cal scrub so­lu­tion in re­duc­ing the num­ber of bac­te­ria present on your hands.

Re­searchers at Massey Univer­sity in New Zealand re­cently com­pared the ef­fi­cacy of Ava­gard hand­san­i­tiz­ing gel with the an­ti­sep­tic chlorhex­i­dine, which is com­monly used in presur­gi­cal dis­in­fec­tion.

On four sep­a­rate days, 12 hu­man study par­tic­i­pants fol­lowed stan­dard san­i­ta­tion pro­to­cols to clean their hands with ei­ther the al­co­hol-based gel or chlorhex­i­dine. For the first clean­ing with each so­lu­tion, the hands showed no signs of con­tam­i­na­tion.

Next the hands were cleaned af­ter they had ob­vi­ously been con­tam­i­nated with equine fe­cal mat­ter to sim­u­late what might hap­pen when a vet­eri­nar­ian ex­am­ines a horse for colic or a foal­ing prob­lem and then has to go to surgery. (Prior to the use of each prod­uct, the gross con­tam­i­na­tion was re­moved from hands un­der run­ning water with­out soap.)

Bac­te­rial sam­ples were taken be­fore each clean­ing, im­me­di­ately af­ter­ward and again two hours later, and the sam­ples were placed in blood or MacCon­key agar growth me­dia.

Af­ter 48 hours, the re­searchers counted the bac­te­rial colonies in the cul­ture dishes. They found that the per­cent­age re­duc­tion in bac­te­rial colonies was sim­i­lar af­ter the san­i­tiz­ing gel or the chlorhex­i­dine scrub

was used.

“The re­sults,” the re­searchers con­clude, “in­di­cate equiv­a­lent ef­fi­cacy of the al­co­hol-based gel and the pre-sur­gi­cal chlorhex­i­dine pro­to­col.”

Ref­er­ence: “Com­par­i­son of an al­co­hol-based hand san­i­ta­tion prod­uct with a tra­di­tional chlorhex­i­dine hand scrub tech­nique for hand hy­giene prepa­ra­tion in an equine hos­pi­tal,” New Zealand Ve­teri­nary Journal, July 2017

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