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Hand sanitizer helps!

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An article was posted today which reaffirmed that the use of alcohol hand sanitizer is vital to our health, especially during seasons when colds and flues are abound.  You can read the article at the bottom of this post.

Not sure what is an alcohol hand sanitizer?  Popular brands are Purell and Germ-X, but take your time to shop for the one you like (compare ingredients).

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Hand Sanitizer Cuts MRSA Risk

Daniel J. DeNoon WebMD Health News 2008. © 2008 WebMD Inc.

December 5, 2008 — Every dab of alcohol hand sanitizer used in British hospitals lowered multidrug-resistant staph (MRSA) infection rates by 1%, a U.K. study shows.

In-hospital infections — particularly MRSA — are a huge and growing problem. As part of the solution, the U.K. National Health Service in 2004 launched a national “clean your hands” campaign among health-care workers.

As part of the campaign, dispensers of alcohol hand sanitizer are placed next to each patient’s bed. Posters encourage patients to ask every hospital worker they see whether they’ve washed their hands.

It’s working, according to an evaluation of the campaign reported by Sheldon Stone of University College London Medical School at this week’s meeting of the Federation of Infection Societies in Cardiff, Wales.

For every extra 1/5 teaspoonful of hand sanitizer used by a hospital, MRSA rates fell by 1%, Stone reported. The program led to a threefold increase in the amount of hand sanitizer and soap used in U.K. hospitals.

“The findings also serve as a reminder that we should be washing our hands in the home and workplace,” Stone says in a news release. “Winter is the season when colds and flus abound, and people can protect themselves and stop germs from spreading by frequently washing their hands.”

Although MRSA rates dropped during the “clean your hands” campaign, rates of another on-the-rise, difficult-to-eradicate bug — Clostridium difficile or C. diff — did not.

SOURCES:

Federation of Infection Societies Scientific Meeting 2008, Cardiff, Wales, Dec. 2-4, 2008.

News release, University College London.

U.K. National Health Service, National Patient Safety Agency web site.

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  • DrStu says:

    The importance of hand hygiene can’t be underestimated!

    That said, many experts are embracing alcohol-free, rinse free, fragrance free foam based products–those that use benzalkonium chloride as the active ingredient (brands include Soapopular, Hy5, and others), acknowledged to be equally effective i.e. wide spectrum of pathogens, including MRSA, when compared to Purell or other alcohol-based products.

    A good blog on the topic is : http://www.handhygienefacts.blogspot.com

    Jay Berkman
    Mata Global Solutions,Inc.
    US Distributor of Soapopular: The Consumer Market’s Most Popular Alcohol-Free Hand Sanitizer