Study Demonstrates 3M Avagard Surgical Hand Antiseptic Provides Superior Persistence Compared to Two Other Brushless, Wate

ST. PAUL, Minn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- A new study, published in the March issue of the American Journal of Infection Control, in accordance with ASTM E1115, shows that 3M™ Avagard™ (Chlorhexidine Gluconate 1% Solution and Ethyl Alcohol 61% w/w) Surgical and Healthcare Personnel Hand Antiseptic with Moisturizers, demonstrates similar antibacterial efficacy (non-inferior) immediately after use and demonstrates superior persistent activity after six hours of glove wear (P=0.026) compared to Sterillium® Rub Surgical Hand Antiseptic and Surgicept® Waterless Surgical Hand Antiseptic.

“In the fight against surgical site infections (SSIs), it is critical that surgeons and their teams have solid data to support their decisions on antiseptic choice,” said study co-author Collette Duley, Director Clinical Study, BioScience Laboratories, Inc. “Knowing that glove perforations and opportunistic bacterial contaminations can occur, especially during longer surgeries, it is beneficial to use a hand antiseptic with residual antimicrobial efficacy.”

This is thought to be the first-ever study comparing the immediate and persistent antimicrobial activity of these three commercially available products. The products were applied 12 times over five days with 83 male and female healthy volunteers. Samples were collected on days one and five, immediately after drying and six hours later using the glove juice technique, and bacterial colonies were compared across products for each sample time. Statistical tests for non-inferiority and superiority were applied to compare results.

According to the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN), “a standardized surgical hand scrub using an alcohol-based surgical hand rub product with demonstrated persistence and cumulative activity should be performed according to the manufacture’s written directions for use. An alcohol and chlorhexidine product that is fast drying and has residual effect is preferred.”1 The use of a surgical hand antiseptic with persistent activity is also consistent with the recommendations in the current Guidelines for Hand Hygiene in Health-Care Settings, as set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and World Health Organization. These guidelines state: surgical hand antisepsis using either an antimicrobial soap or an alcohol-based hand rub with persistent activity is recommended before donning sterile gloves when performing surgical procedures and that surgical hand antisepsis should maintain the bacterial populations below baseline levels until the end of procedure.2,3

“This study provides important information that can help surgical teams reduce the risk of surgical site infections,” said Debra Rectenwald, 3M Infection Prevention Division president and general manager. “Our work at 3M continues to focus on advancing the science of infection prevention and providing products that improve patient safety.”

The study abstract may be accessed by clicking on the following link to the publication:

About 3M Infection Prevention

3M Infection Prevention Division is truly on a mission to provide health care professionals with solutions to minimize the risk of healthcare-associated infections. Combing science and technology, 3M’s distinct technology platforms and comprehensive portfolio of quality products help the healthcare industry define and address current infection prevention best practices. With its systems of people, products and processes, 3M Infection Prevention is committed to helping customers lead the way in controlling the risk of infection, improving patient outcomes, and managing their bottom lines. Learn more at

About 3M Health Care

3M Health Care offers solutions in the medical, oral care, drug delivery, food safety and health information markets. We have an unparalleled ability to connect people, insights, science and technology to think beyond today, solve problems, and make better health possible. Our culture of collaboration empowers us to discover and deliver practical, proven solutions that enable our customers to protect and improve the health of people around the world. Learn more at 3M Health Care.


1. Perioperative Standards and Recommended Practices 2011 EDITION, 1st, Association of periOperative Registered Nurses, 2011, ISBN 10: 1888460687, ISBN 13: 9781888460681, © AORN, Inc. 2011 Recommended Practices for Hand Hygiene in the Perioperative Setting | SECTION: RECOMMENDATION III.

2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Guideline for hand hygiene in health-care settings.MMWR.October 25, 2002; 51(RR-16):1-44.

3. WHO Guidelines on Hand Hygiene in Health Care (Advanced Draft).Geneva, Switzerland:World Health Organization;2006. Accessed October 19, 2009.


Mary Kokkinen, 651-733-8806
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Jennifer Westphal, 816-512-2251
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