Sunday, February 17, 2013

Are you SURE they are clean?

If you have been to a hospital, you might have noticed bottles for dispensing alcohol hand rub suspended at selected places along the corridors.

Photo from KentOnline (

These are for staff and visitors to clean their hands, usually after meeting a patient, and prevent possible spread of infection.

Following several acquaintances to a hospital ward last week, I saw one friend head for the dispenser bottle at the end of our visit.

To my amusement, she started spreading the alcohol gel like it was branded hand cream. And she spent quite some time at it, luxuriating in the feel and making sure she got to those hard to reach places.

I quickly pointed out to her that if she really wanted to kill those germs on her hands (rather than giving them a cooling bath), she needed to rub the gel briskly onto her hands following the prescribed method within half a minute.

It is the instant drying of the alcohol from the surface of the skin which 'fries' the little buggers leaving your hands (almost) germ free.

In fact, there was a poster by the dispenser bottle with instructions on how to correctly wash your hands with the alcohol rub. Something like this poster below:

Poster by courtesy of the World Health Organisation (click to view slightly bigger version)

So dear readers, on your future hospital visits, when you encounter these alcohol rub dispenser bottles, do stop wasting rubbing alcohol by ensuring you practice hand hygiene the right way. Thank you!

*This was a community message service by the Stone Burner

No comments: