Study: Hand gel not enough to curb infections

A new study suggests that the use of alcohol-based hand gel, while effective, is not enough to cut down on hospital-acquired infections. The study, which looked at 300 hours of hand hygiene observation of doctors and nurses in two Nebraska ICUs over a two-year period, found that while workers nearly doubled their use of alcohol-based gel when it was made readily available, infection rates remained about the same. Researchers concluded that rings, excessively long fingernails, poor handling of catheters and unsanitized treatment areas were major contributors to remaining infections. The results of this study, which appears in this month's issue of Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, seems to contradict CDC guidelines suggesting that frequent use of hand gels or frequent hand washing is sufficient to lower rates of hospital-acquired infection.

To learn more about the study:
- read this South Florida Sun-Sentinel piece

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