Assessment of the efficacy of a patient hand wipe: development of a test method

Wilkinson, M., Kiernan, Martin ORCID:, Wilson, Jennie ORCID:, Loveday, Heather ORCID: and Bradley, Christine (2017) Assessment of the efficacy of a patient hand wipe: development of a test method. Journal of Hospital Infection, 90 (4). pp. 339-344. ISSN 0195-6701

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Much attention has focused on hand decontamination for healthcare workers; little has been paid to patient hand hygiene. Patients confined to bed are often unable to access hand washing facilities. They could use an alcohol hand rub but these are not advised for soiled hands or social hand hygiene. One alternative is the use of a hand wipe. However, are they effective at removing transient micro-organisms from the hands?

To develop a method assessing the antimicrobial efficacy of hand wipes compared with hand washing, and so determine if a hand wipe can be acceptable for patient hand hygiene.

The methodology was based on the European standards EN 1499 (2013) and EN 1500 (2013) as there is no standard for hand wipes. The hands of 20 healthy volunteers were artificially contaminated by immersion in Escherichia coli and then sampled before and after using a reference soft soap or hand wipes for 60 seconds. The counts obtained were expressed as log10 and the log10 reductions calculated.

The patient hand wipe with no antimicrobial agent was inferior to the soft soap. However, the antimicrobial wipe was statistically non-inferior to the soft soap. A log10 reduction of 3.54 was obtained for the reference, 2.46 for the control patient wipe, and 3.67 for the antimicrobial patient wipe.

The evidence suggests that the antimicrobial patient wipe, when applied for 60 seconds, is at least as good as soap and water, representing an acceptable alternative to handwashing from a bactericidal perspective.

Item Type: Article
Identifier: 10.1016/j.jhin.2017.08.013
Additional Information: © 2017 The Healthcare Infection Society. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license
Subjects: Medicine and health > Health promotion and public health
Medicine and health > Health promotion and public health > Infection prevention
Medicine and health > Microbiology
Depositing User: Jennie Wilson
Date Deposited: 29 Aug 2017 16:53
Last Modified: 06 Feb 2024 15:54


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