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The hazards of using disinfectant hand gel

by Medindia Content Team on  May 2, 2002 at 4:39 PM General Health News   - G J E 4
The hazards of using disinfectant hand gel
According to researchers in Dallas, using disinfectant gels, rather than hand rubs, for hospital hand washing may lead to a decrease in hygiene. Getting doctors and nurses to wash their hands between each patient is thought to be a major advance in reducing hospital infections. Soap and water is used in US, while in Europe, an alcohol-based rub is more common. Both have drawbacks soap and water is time consuming, the rubs are drying to the skin.
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That's why disinfectant gels might be initiated. But although they might be easier on the hands, the anti-microbial action of the gels isn't necessarily so good. Researchers at the University of Geneva, and colleagues in Germany, compared a range of gels and four alcohol-based hand rinses with the performance of a standard disinfectant, 2-propanol.

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They found that none of the gel formulations was as good as the 2-propanol at killing bacteria. However, the rinses did give as good a performance as 2-propanol. Substituting gels for rinses might help doctors and nurses look after their hands but they may be a health hazard to the patient.

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