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Heart Lung. 2000 Mar-Apr;29(2):136-42.

Assessment of alternative hand hygiene regimens to improve skin health among neonatal intensive care unit nurses.

Author information

1
Columbia University School of Nursing, New York, NY 10032, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The frequent handwashing and gloving required in high-risk, high-volume patient care areas such as critical care units damages skin of the hands. The purpose of this exploratory study was to compare 2 hand care regimens (traditional antiseptic wash with chlorhexidine-containing detergent versus mild soap wash with subsequent alcohol-based rinse for degerming as necessary) in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).

DESIGN:

Prospective, quasi-experimental, random assignment.

SETTING:

One NICU (47 beds) in a New York City children's hospital.

SUBJECTS:

Sixteen full-time NICU nurses.

OUTCOME MEASURES:

Microbial flora and skin condition of hands.

INTERVENTION:

Nurses were randomly assigned to one of the 2 hand care regimens.

RESULTS:

No significant differences in microbial counts or types of organisms from hands of staff were found, but after 2 weeks nurses in the mild soap and alcohol group had significant improvements in their skin condition (P =.005).

CONCLUSIONS:

Use of a mild soap for cleaning and an alcohol-based product for degerming may offer an acceptable alternative to the traditional antiseptic handwash and may reduce skin damage to health care professionals' hands.

PMID:
10739490
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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