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Giving Health Workers Their Own Hand Gel Reduces Operating Room Contamination Significantly

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Simple remedies -- from keeping the antibacterial gel dispenser clean to giving health care workers their own hand sanitizer -- can help keep patients safe by decreasing contamination in operating and recovery rooms, suggest two studies presented at the ANESTHESIOLOGY™ 2013 annual meeting.

Keeping hand sanitizers clean decreases their bacterial contamination by 75 percent, while health care workers with personal gel bottles attached to their belts were nearly 30 percent more likely to use the hand sanitizer, the studies found.

The studies investigated operating room contamination, resulting in common sense remedies to increase sanitization. The first study looked at bacterial counts on such high-touch surfaces as the hand sanitizer dispenser and the electronic medical record keyboard. The second study followed the compliance of a hand hygiene policy before and after personal sanitation gel devices were worn on the belts of medical personnel.

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