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Infection Control

Trading hand hygiene for gloves

November 09, 2011
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LONDON — New research shows that health care providers who wear gloves are less likely to wash their hands before and after treating their patients, according to Health Day.

A study, published in the December issue of Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, showed that this lapse in basic hand hygiene could spread infection in health care settings because some germs can get through latex gloves or contaminate hands when the gloves are removed, the article stated.

According to the article, researchers observed more than 7,000 elderly intensive care unit patients and their contact with health care providers.

Overall, the study revealed that proper hand hygiene compliance was 48 percent; however, investigators noted that compliance dropped to 41 percent whenever gloves were worn, the article noted.

"The chances of hands being cleaned before or after patient contact appear to be substantially lower if gloves were being worn," said the study''s principal investigator, Dr. Sheldon Stone of the Royal Free Hospital NHS Trust in London.

"We call this the phenomenon of the ''Dirty Hand in the Latex Glove''," Stone added.

Click here to read the complete article.

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