How to Achieve the Very Best Hand Hygiene
What is the best way to achieve hand hygiene? Answer: Use a liquid hand antiseptic containing two powerful germ killers with two different mechanisms of action at optimal concentrations with a moisturizer to keep hands soft and moist.
Why a Hand Antiseptic?? There is no disputing the fact that the use of powerful hand antiseptics will decrease the numbers of germs on hands and decrease the probability of contracting or transmitting an infectious disease. There is also no disputing the fact that powerful hand antiseptics kill germs more effectively than soap and water .
In the graph above 70 % Isopropyl alcohol reduces the number of bacteria significantly better than antimicrobial soap and water or soap and water .??1. www.learnwell.org//handhygiene.htm
In the graph above Germ Out®, which contains two germ killers (70 % isopropyl alcohol and 0.02 % Benzalkonium chloride), reduces the numbers of bacteria (microorganisms) on the fingers significantly better than antimicrobial soap and water .??2. www.germout.com ??
Why a liquid? ?A liquid hand antiseptic is a better germ killer than a gel [3,4]. A liquid spreads easily on your hands and leaves no residue after it dries. A liquid cannot be eaten by a child and cannot be contsumed if a child resistant cap or a fine spray mist dispenser is used. Ninety percent or more of the hand sanitizers on the market are the same. There is no difference between Purell®, Germ X®, CVS®, and Avant®. They are all alcohol gels containing 62 percent ethyl alcohol. There are four major problems with all alcohol gels. 1) Sixty-two percent ethyl alcohol is a minimally effective germ killer. 2) They spread on your hands like grease. 3) They leave a sticky residue of gel. 4) They are easily “eaten” by children. What about foam hand antiseptics? Foam antiseptics contain 62% alcohol and are also minimally effective. They spread easily but the foam is mostly air and therefore the amount of alcohol deposited on your hands is small. Foams do not leave a sticky residue like gels.??3. H. Pietsch. “Hand Antiseptics: Rubs Versus Scrubs, Alcohol Solutions Versus Alcohol Gels” Journal of Hospital Infection (2001) 48 (Supplement A): S33-S36.?4. Kramer, A., Rudolph, P., and Pittet, D. “Limited Efficacy of Alcohol-based Hand Gels”. Lancet (2002) 359: 1489-90
Why two powerful germ killers??ChloraPrep® and Chlorascrub® are the two most effective topical antiseptics on the market for preparation of the skin prior to surgery and injection. They both contain two powerful germ killers, 70 % Isopropyl alcohol, and 2% or 3 % Chlorhexidine gluconate. Both germ killers have a different mechanism for killing germs. Two powerful germ killers with different mechanisms of action are twice as effective as one and just as safe . Since they have different mechanisms of action, the side effects are not additive. Two powerful germ killers in the same antiseptic will prevent the development of drug resistant germs. If a germ is resistant to one antiseptic, the other will kill it.??5. Hibbard, J. “Analyses Comparing the Antimicrobial Activity and Safety of Current Antiseptic Agents: A Review” Journal of Infusion Nursing (2005) Vol. 28, No. 3, May/June: 194-207
In the graph above the zone of bacterial inhibition was measured in millimeters with alcohol alone (60% to 90%), with Benzalkonium chloride alone (0.02% to 0.10 %), and with Germ Out alone (N.B. The concentration of Benzalkonium chloride in Germ Out® was varied between 0.02 % and 0.10 % while the concentration of isopropyl alcohol was kept constant at 70 %) . The zone of bacterial inhibition in millimeters for Germ Out® at all concentrations of Benzalkonium chloride was significantly greater than the zone with alcohol alone or Benzalkonium chloride alone at all concentrations. Germ Out® contains two powerful germ killers. They are seventy percent isopropyl alcohol and 200 parts per million (0.02 wt %) Benzalkonium chloride.??6. www.germout.com ??What are the optimal concentrations for the two germ killers in Germ Out®? Based upon the data in the graph above and the data in references 2, 3, and 4 above, the optimum concentration for alcohol alone is between 70 and 90 percent and the optimum concentration for Benzalkonium chloride alone is between 0.02 and 0.10 percent. Germ Out® contains 70 percent isopropyl alcohol and 0.02 percent Benzalkonium chloride.
Why a Moisturizer?? High concentrations of alcohol will make hands feel dry. Alcohol with moisturizers such as glycerin will not dry out hands. Washing your hands with soap and water dries out hands significantly more than alcohol hand rubs and lowers the epidermal water content significantly more than alcohol hand rubs. Germ Out® contains 2.5 wt % glycerin as a moisturizer.
In the graph above left, healthy and dry hands were measured on a self-reporting score from 0 (healthy) to dry (6) at baseline and after using alcohol rubs or soap and water washing for two weeks. At baseline there was no significant difference between the two methods but at two weeks the alcohol rub was significantly better at maintaining healthy (not dry) hands than soap and water. In the graph above right, the epidermal water content of the skin was measured on a scale from 15 (dry) to healthy (27) at baseline and after two weeks using alcohol rub and soap and water. At baseline there was no significant difference between the two methods but after two weeks the alcohol rub epidermal water content was significantly healthier than the soap and water method . The alcohol rub method for maintaining hand hygiene was significantly better than the soap and water method.7. www.germout.com ?
What is the best way to achieve Hand Hygiene?? Use Germ Out®. It is a liquid hand antiseptic that contains two powerful germ killers with two different mechanisms of action at optimal concentrations with a moisturizer to keep hands soft and moist.??
About the Author:? John S. Hibbard, PhD. is President and CEO of J&A Companies, L.L.C. They manufacture, distribute, and sell Germ Out® hand antiseptic. He also consults with the pharmaceutical industry with eleven years experience consulting and conducting nonclinical and clinical research trials with topical antiseptic agents. Dr. Hibbard has fifteen years experience conducting clinical research studies for other pharmaceutical drugs and has ten years experience teaching clinical microbiology to medical students. He has authored or co-authored over 30 publications and review articles in parasitology, clinical microbiology, and clinical research on oncology and gastrointestinal drugs, antibiotics, and antiseptic agents. He can be reached at J&A Companies, L.L.C., 4311 W. 112th Terrace, Leawood, Kansas 66211, Telephone 913-530-1647, Fax 913-661-0253, JSHibbard@yahoo.com.