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Am J Infect Control. 2012 Mar;40(2):155-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ajic.2011.10.012.

Prospective, randomized in vivo comparison of a dual-active waterless antiseptic versus two alcohol-only waterless antiseptics for surgical hand antisepsis.

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3M Infection Prevention Division, 3M Corporation, St Paul, MN, USA.



This study aimed to demonstrate the value of adding an active level of a persistent antimicrobial agent, such as chlorhexidine gluconate (CHG), to an alcohol-based surgical hand antiseptic.


The persistence of 3 waterless, brushless alcohol-based surgical hand antiseptics, including one product containing CHG, was compared. The test products were applied a total of 12 times over 5 days. Samples of aerobic bacteria were collected on days 1 and 5, on both days immediately after drying and 6 hours later, using the glove juice technique. Relative suppression of regrowth was compared using t tests.


Using an equivalence margin of 20%, the alcohol plus CHG product showed noninferiority to the alcohol-only products at all sampling points and, based on significantly lower bacterial regrowth (P = .026), superior persistence to the alcohol-only products after 6 hours of glove wear.


Given the primary objective of surgical hand antisepsis of reducing resident skin flora for the duration of the surgical procedure, using an alcohol-based hand antiseptic containing CHG appears to be the most appropriate choice for maintaining microbial levels as low as possible for as long as possible.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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