Health workers may not be using hand sanitiser properly
Incorrect use of hand sanitisers by healthcare staff may be leaving them inadequately protected, according to a recent study.
Guidelines by WHO and the US Centers for Disease Control stipulate that hand sanitisers should be rubbed over all surfaces of the hands including the spaces between the fingers for 20 to 30 seconds until the hands feel dry.
But according to researchers at New York’s Columbia University School of Nursing, some healthcare workers may not be using the right amount of sanitiser or letting it dry for long enough to achieve maximum protection against germs.
Researchers carried out lab tests to see how long different amounts of gel and foam versions of alcohol-based hand sanitiser took to dry on nine volunteers’ hands. Gels dried faster than foams in general, with 3ml of gel taking 37 seconds to dry while the same amount of foam taking an average of 57 seconds.
But some volunteers were experiencing relatively short drying times because they were using less than the optimal amount of product. And the study team concluded that at least 2.25ml of sanitiser was required for optimal coverage on the front and back of hands.
According to the CDC, sanitising gels and foams should contain at least 60 per cent alcohol in order to be effective against germs. And the alcohol is only active when wet, which means a hand rub that dries too quickly may be less effective.
- Tork offers a range of gel and foam hand sanitisers containing 80 per cent alcohol. Available in various formats including wall-mounted dispensers and personal-sizebottles, the sanitisers are effective against many organisms including the Norovirus and Rotavirus. They have been specially formulated for frequent use without leaving any sticky build-up.
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