How to remove the bacteria by washing hands

You think you can eliminate bacteria washing your hands? According to a new study published in the journal Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology probably cannot, and even doctors and nurses are able completely.

Eliminate bacteria: Wash your hands enough

Researchers at Glasgow Caledonian University in Scotland have looked at different techniques followed by doctors and nurses to wash their hands; later they measured the bacteria residue on their hands to determine what was the best approach. The study, unfortunately, also found that many of them ignore or do not complete the necessary steps.

The study’s author Jacqui Reilly, professor of prevention and infection control at Glasgow Caledonian University, in a statement reported: “hand hygiene is considered the most important intervention to reduce associated infections, but there are limited evidence about what is the most effective technique”, thus highlighting the key role of the study in the search for the most effective practices to implement directly and in a simple health care.


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In particular, the research team analyzed the habits of a random sample of 42 doctors and 78 nurses of an urban teaching hospital. In workplaces considered, on the walls in front of each location washing, technical prints were located in step 6, which was determined the best by the World Health Organization (WHO) in the elimination of bacteria.

What the study revealed?

The results showed that only 65% of doctors and nurses completed the entire handwashing process at step 6. Most of the remaining staff, in fact, followed the washing of the hands 3 step technique, which was provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in English Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

In these techniques, the first step always is to rub your hands with soap. Despite this initial step is performed by most people, many of them to stop to wash their hands; this entails a decrease in the ability to disinfect.

The key is in fact the rub: according to the technique in step, 6 must also rub the backs of your hands between your fingers, the back of the toes, around the thumbs and finally along the palms.

The 3-step technique, on the other hand, recommends washing hands rubbing the back of her hands between your fingers and under the nails for 20 seconds, about the time it takes to sing the song “Happy Birthday” from beginning to end.

Once done this, you can rinse your hands under running water and dry them.

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What is the best way to wash your hands?

At the end of the recordings, it was noted that the technique to 6 WHO step was able to reduce the average 21% of the bacteria, passing from 3.28 to 2.58 colony forming units per milliliter (CFU / mL).

The 3-step technique, however, was only able to reduce, on average, 6% of the bacteria, passing from 3.08 to 2.88 colony forming units per milliliter (CFU / mL).

Despite the technique in step 6 allows to reduce bacteria approximately 4-fold better than the most common technique in step 3, its duration is greater, an average of 42.5 seconds.

In addition, according to the CDC, it is very important to wash your hands before eating and drinking and after using the bathroom. The germs of the hands unwashed can contaminate foods and drinks or can be transferred to toys, tabletops, and from person to person, causing illness in others.

The approximately 31% of people get sick in fact coming into contact with the diarrhea, while from 16% to 21% fell ill with respiratory diseases (such as colds), which are transmitted by germs. It is therefore clear how to reduce as much as possible the movement of bacteria is essential for public health.

A further observation is the fact that only 65% of staff had completed the entire process hygiene even though the instructions were placed right in front of them. It is precisely this fact to highlight the need for further investigation of this particular technique and how to improve the compliance rates of the same.

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