Hand hygiene: Benefits and risks of remanent active ingredients in alcohol-based hand disinfectants

Hand hygiene: Benefits and risks of remanent active ingredients in alcohol-based hand disinfectants. Teaser: In addition to containing alcohol, some commonly used hand disinfectants also contain remanent active substances such as chlorhexidine (CHG), mecetronium ethylsulfate (MES) or ortho-phenylphenol (OPP) to improve the sustained activity. However, according to scientific evidence, remanent active ingredients offer no benefit, neither for hygienic nor for surgical hand disinfection – but pose risks to skin health. The current recommendations “Händehygiene in Einrichtungen des Gesundheitswesens” (Hand hygiene in healthcare facilities) and “Prävention postoperativer Wundinfektionen” (Prevention of surgical site infection) issued by the “Kommission für Krankenhaushygiene und Infektionsprävention” (abbr.: KRINKO; German Commission for Hospital Hygiene and Infection Prevention) therefore advise against using hand disinfectants containing remanent active ingredients.

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Factsheet SSI update: Preoperative risk factors and possibilities for prevention

In 2016, nearly 59 million operations and medical procedures were conducted in German hospitals. According to a representative analysis, surgical site infections (SSI) accounted for 22.4% of nosocomial infections, exceeded only by lower respiratory infections. Considerable attention should be given to the prevention of SSI, as they can be associated with a 2 to 11-fold increase in a patient’s mortality rate. With the appropriate pre-, intra- and postoperative measures, however, up to 60% of all SSI can be prevented. On this factsheet you will find information on preoperative risk factors and prevention options.

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Preventive measures can minimise orthopaedic Surgical Site Infections after joint replacement surgeries

Joint replacement surgeries are of significant therapeutic benefit for many patients, relieving pain and improving mobility. However, the advantages of such surgeries can be greatly hampered by orthopaedic surgical site infections (SSIs), which are associated with high patient morbidity. Reduction of the SSI-associated risk factors and strict adherence to infection control protocols before, during and after surgery are crucial to minimise infections and ensure a positive outcome.

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Recommended practices for cleaning and disinfecting pre- and postoperative environments

Patient environments play a significant role in healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) and surgical site infections (SSIs). To reduce contamination risks, perioperative staff should use a bundled approach to perform standardized cleaning and disinfection routines. Effective yet time-efficient environmental cleaning involves identifying high-touch surfaces and patient-near areas, as they are relevant for evaluating the risk of pathogen transmission. The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) gives guidance on cleaning and disinfection measures for surfaces in various areas. Recommendations are based on the frequency of hand and skin contact:

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hygiene in practice

hygiene in practice is a movement for everyone who cares about clean and sterile working environments. By maintaining a high level of hygiene, healthcare professionals keep themselves and their patients safe and healthy.

On this hub, we accompany professionals with up-to-date research in the fields of hygiene, microbiology and epidemiology. We combine the science with practical guidelines, useful facts, and everyday experiences of healthcare professionals regarding protection and comfort issues.

Our mission is to simplify the change in thinking and acting to minimise infection rates.

As an international supplier of medical devices and hygiene products, Lohmann & Rauscher understands the needs of people who take care of patients. With hygiene in practice, we provide both information and solutions.

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