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Am J Infect Control. 2001 Dec;29(6):422-4.

Washington State hospital survey 2000: gloves, handwashing agents, and moisturizers.

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Washington State Department of Labor and Industries Safety and Health Assessment and Research for Prevention Program, Olympia, WA 98504-4330, USA.


Hand dermatitis as a result of frequent exposure to water and cleansing agents is a significant problem in the health care industry. In developing prevention efforts to address this problem, it is necessary to make appropriate recommendations for moisturizers that are compatible with latex gloves and/or handwashing agents that contain chlorhexidine gluconate (CHG). Infection control personnel or employee health nurses in all 106 Washington hospitals were interviewed to determine what types of gloves, handwashing agents, and moisturizers are in current use in the hospital setting. The interview also addressed awareness of skin care issues involving the compatibility of moisturizers with latex gloves and handwashing agents that contain CHG. Latex gloves were available in 90% of the hospitals. Handwashing agents containing CHG were available in 33% of the hospitals. Moisturizers were supplied for the nursing personnel in 61% of the hospitals; most of these moisturizers were compatible with latex gloves and agents containing CHG. Seventy-four percent of the infection control personnel were aware of the compatibility issues of petroleum-based moisturizers with latex gloves, and 48% were aware of the need to avoid the use of anionic moisturizers in combination with CHG handwashing agents.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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