Document Detail

Failure of bland soap handwash to prevent hand transfer of patient bacteria to urethral catheters.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  1753080     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
OBJECTIVE: The study was designed to compare the efficacies of bland soap handwash and isopropyl alcohol hand rinse in preventing transfer of aerobic gram-negative bacilli to urinary catheters via transient hand colonization acquired from direct patient contact. Glove juice recovery of gram-negative bacteria was considered transient colonization; catheter recovery was considered transfer colonization. DESIGN: The contact source for gram-negative bacteria was a single "high burden" groin skin carrier (greater than or equal to 10(4)/ml cup scrub fluid). Using a two-period cross-over design, 6 healthcare workers had 2 15-second contacts for each hand followed by either soap handwash or alcohol hand rinse (12 experiments with each treatment). Between 4 to 5 minutes after contact, each hand manipulated a catheter; the catheter was then cultured and the hand was glove juice tested. RESULTS: Soap handwash failed to prevent gram-negative bacteria transfer to the catheter in 11 of 12 (92%) experiments; alcohol hand rinse in 2 of 12 (17%) (p less than .001). Soap handwash failed to prevent transient colonization in 12 of 12 (100%) experiments; alcohol in 5 of 12 (42%) (risk ratio 2.4, 95% confidence interval 1.2-4.7). Single gram-negative bacteria species carried at source levels greater than or equal to 5.5 x 10(3)/ml (heavy contamination) established transient colonization in 23 of 30 (77%) exposures following soap handwash; single gram-negative bacteria species carried at levels less than or equal to 3.5 x 10(3)/ml established colonization in 1 of 22 (5%) similar exposures (p less than .001). CONCLUSIONS: Bland soap handwash was generally ineffective in preventing hand transfer of gram-negative bacteria to catheters following brief contact with a heavy-contamination patient source; alcohol hand rinse was generally effective.
N J Ehrenkranz; B C Alfonso
Publication Detail:
Type:  Comparative Study; Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Infection control and hospital epidemiology : the official journal of the Society of Hospital Epidemiologists of America     Volume:  12     ISSN:  0899-823X     ISO Abbreviation:  Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol     Publication Date:  1991 Nov 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1992-01-27     Completed Date:  1992-01-27     Revised Date:  2006-11-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8804099     Medline TA:  Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol     Country:  UNITED STATES    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  654-62     Citation Subset:  IM; N    
Florida Consortium for Infection Control, South Miami.
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MeSH Terms
Aged, 80 and over
Alcohols / pharmacology
Cross Infection / prevention & control*,  transmission
Equipment Contamination
Gram-Negative Bacteria / growth & development,  isolation & purification*
Hand / microbiology*
Handwashing / standards*
Health Personnel*
Infection Control / methods*
Middle Aged
Nursing Homes / statistics & numerical data*
Soaps / pharmacology
Urinary Catheterization / adverse effects*
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Alcohols; 0/Soaps

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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