Hands, whether gloved or ungloved, are among the main methods for spreading infection and for transferring microbial contamination. The usage of hand disinfectants is part of the procedure for good contamination control for personnel in hospital environments, or those associated with aseptic processing and within cleanrooms. Although there are many different types of hand sanitizers available you will find differences with their effectiveness and several do not meet with the European standard for hand sanitization.
Personnel in hospitals and cleanrooms carry various kinds of microorganisms on the hands and such microorganisms can be readily transferred from one individual to another or from person to equipment or critical surfaces. Such microorganisms are either present on your skin not multiplying (transient flora, which could include a variety of environmental microorganisms like Staphylococcus and Pseudomonas) or are multiplying microorganisms released from your skin (residential flora such as the genera of Staphylococcus, Micrococcus and Propionibacterium). Of the 2 groups, residential flora are more difficult to remove. For critical operations, some protection is afforded by wearing gloves. However gloves aren’t suitable for all activities and gloves, or even regularly sanitized or if they are of an unsuitable design, will grab and transfer contamination.
Therefore, the sanitization of hands (either gloved or ungloved) is an important section of contamination control either in hospitals, in order to avoid staff-to-patient cross contamination or just before undertaking clinical or surgical procedures; and for aseptic preparations such as the dispensing of medicines. Hand Sanitiser Moreover, not only is the use of a hand sanitizer needed just before undertaking such applications, it can also be important that the sanitizer is able to eliminating a top population of bacteria. Studies have shown that when a low amount of microorganisms persist after the application form of a sanitizer then your subpopulation can develop which is resistant to future applications.
There are numerous commercially available hand sanitisers with the most commonly used types being alcohol-based liquids or gels. Just like other types of disinfectants, hand sanitizers are effective against different microorganisms based upon their mode of activity. With common alcohol based hand sanitizers, the mode of action leads to bacterial cell death through cytoplasm leakage, denaturation of protein and eventual cell lysis (alcohols are among the so-called’membrane disrupters’). The features of employing alcohols as hand sanitizers include a relatively low cost, little odour and an instant evaporation (limited residual activity results in shorter contact times). Furthermore alcohols have a proven cleansing action.
In selecting a hand sanitiser the pharmaceutical organisation or hospital will need to consider if the application form is usually to be built to human skin or even to gloved hands, or even to both, and when it is required to be sporicidal. Hand sanitisers fall under two groups: alcohol based, which are more common, and non-alcohol based. Such considerations impact both upon cost and medical and safety of the staff using the hand sanitiser since many commonly available alcohol based sanitisers may cause excessive drying of your skin; and some non-alcohol based sanitisers can be irritating to the skin. Alcohol hand sanitizers are designed to avoid irritation through possessing hypoallergenic properties (colour and fragrance free) and ingredients which afford skin protection and care through re-fatting agents.
Alcohols have a long history of good use as disinfectants due to inherent antiseptic properties against bacteria and some viruses. To work some water is required to be combined with alcohol to exert effect against microorganisms, with the utmost effective range falling between 60 and 95% (most commercial hand sanitizers are around 70%). The most commonly used alcohol based hand sanitisers are Isopropyl alcohol or some type of denatured ethanol (such as Industrial Methylated Spirits). The more common non-alcohol based sanitisers contain either chlorhexidine or hexachlorophene. Additives can also be included in hand sanitizers in order to boost the antimicrobial properties.
Before entering a hospital ward or clean area hands ought to be washed using soap and water for about twenty seconds. Handwashing removes around 99% of transient microorgansisms (although it does not kill them) (4). From then on, whether gloves are worn or not, regular hygienic hand disinfection should take place to get rid of any subsequent transient flora and to reduce the risk of the contamination arising from resident skin flora.
The manner of hand sanitisation is of great importance since the effectiveness is not only with the alcohol but additionally pertains to the’rub-in’technique. As an example:
-Dispense a small amount of hand gel onto the palm of just one hand by
-pressing down on the pump dispenser
-Put hands together and check out rub the hand gel into both hands. Pay particular attention to these areas:
-Back of hands
-Between webs of fingers
-Allow hands to dry, this would take no more than 60 seconds
Regular applications of the hand sanitizer are needed and also just before carrying out critical activities. The reason being alcohols are relatively volatile and do not supply a continual antimicrobial action. Although microorgansisms are removed from material like latex more readily than from skin, a regular frequency of hand sanitization should still be put on gloves.
You will find not many safety concerns with hand sanitizers and the occupational exposure is relatively low, although this will build up in enclosed spaces. Care should be used when using sanitizers near naked flames (which can occur where gas burners are utilized in laboratories).
In conclusion, hand sanitisation is an important procedure for staff to check out in healthcare and pharmaceutical settings. Hand sanitization is among the main methods for avoiding the spread of infection in hospitals and contamination within pharmaceutical operations. This required degree of control requires the use of a highly effective hand sanitizer.