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Lesson of the week: alcohol hand rubs - hygiene and hazard

Journal Article


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Abstract


  • Hospital acquired infections are common and increase morbidity, mortality, and length of stay.1 2 The benefit of hand washing has been highlighted,3 and studies have shown that alcohol hand rub is significantly better than soap in reducing hand contamination.4-7 In 2004, NHS trusts were advised to introduce “near patient” alcohol based hand rubs (for example, attached beside beds and at entrances to wards) by April 2005.

    With the widespread introduction of these hand rubs, risk assessments were made for the possibility of fire and ingestion. Although alcohol hand rub is flammable, no incidents involving fire have occurred. The risk of ingestion was thought possible in children and confused patients, but little advice was given on reducing this risk.8 Frequent dermal application of alcohol based hand rub has been shown not to raise blood ethanol levels.9 However, no further risk assessment has examined unintentional or intentional ingestion of alcohol rubs.

    We report a case of considerable toxicity associated with the deliberate ingestion of alcohol based hand rub, together with data from our poisons unit showing an increase in inquiries related to alcohol rubs.

UOW Authors


  •   Archer, J.R.H (external author)
  •   Wood, David M. (external author)
  •   Tizzard, Zoe (external author)
  •   Jones, Alison
  •   Dargan, Paul I. (external author)

Publication Date


  • 2007

Citation


  • Archer, J., Wood, D. M., Tizzard, Z., JONES, A. LINDA. & Dargan, P. I. (2007). Lesson of the week: alcohol hand rubs - hygiene and hazard. British Medical Journal, 335 (7630), 1154-1155.

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-37049000586

Ro Full-text Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1179&context=medpapers

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/medpapers/175

Has Global Citation Frequency


Number Of Pages


  • 1

Start Page


  • 1154

End Page


  • 1155

Volume


  • 335

Issue


  • 7630

Abstract


  • Hospital acquired infections are common and increase morbidity, mortality, and length of stay.1 2 The benefit of hand washing has been highlighted,3 and studies have shown that alcohol hand rub is significantly better than soap in reducing hand contamination.4-7 In 2004, NHS trusts were advised to introduce “near patient” alcohol based hand rubs (for example, attached beside beds and at entrances to wards) by April 2005.

    With the widespread introduction of these hand rubs, risk assessments were made for the possibility of fire and ingestion. Although alcohol hand rub is flammable, no incidents involving fire have occurred. The risk of ingestion was thought possible in children and confused patients, but little advice was given on reducing this risk.8 Frequent dermal application of alcohol based hand rub has been shown not to raise blood ethanol levels.9 However, no further risk assessment has examined unintentional or intentional ingestion of alcohol rubs.

    We report a case of considerable toxicity associated with the deliberate ingestion of alcohol based hand rub, together with data from our poisons unit showing an increase in inquiries related to alcohol rubs.

UOW Authors


  •   Archer, J.R.H (external author)
  •   Wood, David M. (external author)
  •   Tizzard, Zoe (external author)
  •   Jones, Alison
  •   Dargan, Paul I. (external author)

Publication Date


  • 2007

Citation


  • Archer, J., Wood, D. M., Tizzard, Z., JONES, A. LINDA. & Dargan, P. I. (2007). Lesson of the week: alcohol hand rubs - hygiene and hazard. British Medical Journal, 335 (7630), 1154-1155.

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-37049000586

Ro Full-text Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1179&context=medpapers

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/medpapers/175

Has Global Citation Frequency


Number Of Pages


  • 1

Start Page


  • 1154

End Page


  • 1155

Volume


  • 335

Issue


  • 7630