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Biomed Pharmacother. 1983;37(9-10):415-8.

[Bacteriological study of hands and the use of soap in the hospital environment].

[Article in French]


Direct contact, especially by touching, is the most important route for the transmission of hospital infections. To examine this risk, we have investigated the frequency of bacteria present on the hands of the nursing staff on the long and medium stay wards of the Hospital Paul- Brousse in Villejuif. The study showed that the amount of bacteria after tending the patients before and after washing the hands with soap tablets is still far from negligible. Staphylococci were predominant both from the frequency and density of their cultures, the risks of transmitting the infection increased with the level of contamination. Although in far smaller amounts, enterobacteria were isolated, probably a sign of faecal contamination. Some of these organisms belonged to bacteria called "hospital infections", resistant to many types of antibiotics. The results point out the limitations of the present system for washing hands, in particular using soap tablets--the soap is a source of infection as it becomes soft when kept wet. Improvement could be achieved by instituting a few simple measures, such as rehabilitating mobile basin units using a scrubbing-brush, carefully drying the hands, using linen that is kept only for patients who have septic infections, issuing personal soap tablets or even better using liquid soap in disposable containers.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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