Hands, whether gloved or ungloved, are among the main means of spreading infection and for transferring microbial contamination. The utilization of hand disinfectants is the main procedure for good contamination control for personnel working in hospital environments, or those involved with aseptic processing and within cleanrooms. Although there are lots of different types of hand sanitizers available you can find differences using their effectiveness and several don’t meet up with the European standard for hand sanitization.
Personnel working in hospitals and cleanrooms carry various types of microorganisms on their hands and such microorganisms may be readily transferred from individual to individual or from person to equipment or critical surfaces. Such microorganisms are either present on skin not multiplying (transient flora, that may include a range of environmental microorganisms like Staphylococcus and Pseudomonas) or are multiplying microorganisms released from skin (residential flora like the genera of Staphylococcus, Micrococcus and Propionibacterium). Of both groups, residential flora are more difficult to remove. For critical operations, some protection is afforded by wearing gloves. However gloves aren’t suitable for all activities and gloves, if not regularly sanitized or if they’re of an unsuitable design, will get and transfer contamination.
Therefore, the sanitization of hands (either gloved or ungloved) is an essential part of contamination control either in hospitals, to avoid staff-to-patient cross contamination or just before undertaking clinical or surgical procedures; and for aseptic preparations like the dispensing of medicines. Moreover, not just is the utilization of a hand sanitizer needed just before undertaking such applications, it is also critical that the sanitizer is capable of eliminating a higher population of bacteria. Antibacterial Hand Gel Studies show that when a low number of microorganisms persist after the application of a sanitizer then your subpopulation can develop which is resistant to future applications.
There are numerous commercially available hand sanitisers most abundant in commonly used types being alcohol-based liquids or gels. Much like other types of disinfectants, hand sanitizers are effective against different microorganisms dependant on their mode of activity. With common alcohol based hand sanitizers, the mode of action results in bacterial cell death through cytoplasm leakage, denaturation of protein and eventual cell lysis (alcohols are among the so-called’membrane disrupters’). The benefits of employing alcohols as hand sanitizers add a relatively low cost, little odour and a quick evaporation (limited residual activity results in shorter contact times). Furthermore alcohols have a proven cleansing action.
In selecting a hand sanitiser the pharmaceutical organisation or hospital should consider if the application is to be designed to human skin or to gloved hands, or to both, and if it is required to be sporicidal. Hand sanitisers fall into two groups: alcohol based, which are more common, and non-alcohol based. Such considerations impact both upon cost and the and safety of the staff utilizing the hand sanitiser because so many commonly available alcohol based sanitisers may cause excessive drying of skin; and some non-alcohol based sanitisers may be irritating to the skin. Alcohol hand sanitizers are created to avoid irritation through possessing hypoallergenic properties (colour and fragrance free) and ingredients which afford skin protection and care through re-fatting agents.
Alcohols have an extended history of good use as disinfectants because of inherent antiseptic properties against bacteria and some viruses. To work some water must be mixed with alcohol to exert effect against microorganisms, with the most truly effective range falling between 60 and 95% (most commercial hand sanitizers are around 70%). The absolute most commonly used alcohol based hand sanitisers are Isopropyl alcohol or some kind of denatured ethanol (such as Industrial Methylated Spirits). The more common non-alcohol based sanitisers contain either chlorhexidine or hexachlorophene. Additives can also be a part of hand sanitizers to be able to increase the antimicrobial properties.
Before entering a hospital ward or clean area hands must be washed using soap and water for around twenty seconds. Handwashing removes around 99% of transient microorgansisms (although it generally does not kill them) (4). From then on, whether gloves are worn or not, regular hygienic hand disinfection should take place to remove any subsequent transient flora and to lessen the chance of the contamination arising from resident skin flora.
The means of hand sanitisation is of great importance because the effectiveness is not just with the alcohol but additionally relates to the’rub-in’technique. For example:
-Dispense a tiny amount of hand gel onto the palm of just one hand by
-pressing down on the pump dispenser
-Put hands together and proceed to rub the hand gel into both hands. Pay particular awareness of the next areas:
-Back of hands
-Between webs of fingers
-Allow hands to dry, this would take a maximum of 60 seconds
Regular applications of the hand sanitizer are required and also just before carrying out critical activities. The reason being alcohols are relatively volatile and don’t supply a continual antimicrobial action. Although microorgansisms are removed from material like latex more readily than from skin, a regular frequency of hand sanitization should nevertheless be placed on gloves.
There are very few safety concerns with hand sanitizers and the occupational exposure is relatively low, although this could build up in enclosed spaces. Care should be studied when utilizing sanitizers near naked flames (which can occur where gas burners are found in laboratories).
In conclusion, hand sanitisation is an essential means of staff to follow along with in healthcare and pharmaceutical settings. Hand sanitization is among the main methods for preventing the spread of infection in hospitals and contamination within pharmaceutical operations. This required amount of control requires the utilization of an effective hand sanitizer.