November 20, 2019

Use of alcohol-based hand rub on gloves by anesthesia providers

By: Judy Mathias
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Editor's Note

In this study, the use of alcohol-based hand rub on nitrile examination gloves did not compromise glove integrity or hamper the ability of anesthesia providers to safely perform anesthesia functions.

A total of 50 new gloves (not exposed to alcohol-based hand rub) were tested for integrity, and one had a microperforation. Of another 50 gloves that were worn as pairs by volunteers for 2 hours and had alcohol-based hand rub applied to them eight times, no microperforations were found.


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All volunteers demonstrated tactile competence by picking up a coin from a table after the eight  hand rubs. Increased stickiness was reported as the number of hand rubs progressed.

This study shows that limited use of alcohol-based hand rub does not compromise glove integrity or impede tactile skills essential for routine anesthesia care, and it is a practical, achievable intervention to reduce pathogen spread, the researchers say.

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