Hands, whether gloved or ungloved, are among the main means of spreading infection or for transferring microbial contamination. The utilization of hand disinfectants is part of the means of good contamination control for personnel employed in hospital environments, or those involved in aseptic processing and within cleanrooms. Although there are numerous various kinds of hand sanitizers available there are differences using their effectiveness and several do not meet up with the European standard for hand sanitization.
Personnel employed in hospitals and cleanrooms carry many types of microorganisms on the hands and such microorganisms can be readily transferred from individual to individual or from person to equipment or critical surfaces. Such microorganisms are either present on the skin not multiplying (transient flora, that may include a variety of environmental microorganisms like Staphylococcus and Pseudomonas) or are multiplying microorganisms released from the skin (residential flora such as the genera of Staphylococcus, Micrococcus and Propionibacterium). Of the two groups, residential flora are more difficult to remove. For critical operations, some protection is afforded by wearing gloves. However gloves are not ideal for all activities and gloves, or even regularly sanitized or if they are of an unsuitable design, will get and transfer contamination.
Therefore, the sanitization of hands (either gloved or ungloved) is an essential element of contamination control either in hospitals, in order 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 can also be important that the sanitizer is capable of eliminating a top population of bacteria. Studies demonstrate that when a low quantity of microorganisms persist after the application form of a sanitizer then your subpopulation can develop which will be resistant to future applications.
There are many commercially available hand sanitisers with commonly used types being alcohol-based liquids or gels. Much like other kinds of disinfectants, hand sanitizers are effective against different microorganisms depending upon their mode of activity. Most abundant in common alcohol based hand sanitizers, the mode of action contributes to bacterial cell death through cytoplasm leakage, denaturation of protein and eventual cell lysis (alcohols are among the so-called’membrane disrupters’). The features of employing alcohols as hand sanitizers incorporate a relatively low cost, little odour and an instant evaporation (limited residual activity results in shorter contact times). Furthermore alcohols have an established cleansing action.
In selecting a hand sanitiser the pharmaceutical organisation or hospital should consider if the application form is usually to be made to human skin or to gloved hands, or to both, and if it is required to be sporicidal. Hand sanitisers fall under two groups: alcohol based, which are more common, and non-alcohol based. Hand Gel Such considerations impact both upon cost and the and safety of the staff utilizing the hand sanitiser since many commonly available alcohol based sanitisers can cause excessive drying of the skin; and some non-alcohol based sanitisers can 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 a lengthy history of use as disinfectants as a result of inherent antiseptic properties against bacteria and some viruses. To work some water must be blended with alcohol to exert effect against microorganisms, with the most truly effective range falling between 60 and 95% (most commercial hand sanitizers are about 70%). The most commonly used alcohol based hand sanitisers are Isopropyl alcohol or some form of denatured ethanol (such as Industrial Methylated Spirits). The more common non-alcohol based sanitisers contain either chlorhexidine or hexachlorophene. Additives can also be contained in hand sanitizers in order to increase the antimicrobial properties.
Before entering a hospital ward or clean area hands should be washed using soap and water for about twenty seconds. Handwashing removes around 99% of transient microorgansisms (although it doesn’t kill them) (4). From then on, whether gloves are worn or not, regular hygienic hand disinfection should take place to eliminate any subsequent transient flora and to cut back the chance of the contamination arising from resident skin flora.
The technique of hand sanitisation is of great importance because the effectiveness is not just with the alcohol but in addition pertains to the’rub-in’technique. For example:
-Dispense a small 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 these areas:
-Back of hands
-Between webs of fingers
-Allow hands to dry, this will take a maximum of 60 seconds
Regular applications of the hand sanitizer are expected and also just before carrying out critical activities. The reason being alcohols are relatively volatile and do not supply a continual antimicrobial action. Although microorgansisms are taken from material like latex more readily than from skin, a regular frequency of hand sanitization should still be applied to 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 taken when working with sanitizers near naked flames (which can occur where gas burners are used in laboratories).
In conclusion, hand sanitisation is an essential process of staff to check out 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 degree of control requires the utilization of an effective hand sanitizer.