During the pandemic, increased demand for alcohol-based hand rub led to some questionable solutions entering the market. So, what questions should healthcare providers ask suppliers to ensure that their product is suitable and effective for hospital use? Thomas Oh, Mandy Michie, Pearleen Ho and Lars Passvogel provide an insight.
One of the pivotal tools to facilitate good hand hygiene is alcohol-based hand rub (ABHR). The importance of ABHR became apparent when the world experienced a global stock-out situation, driven by high demand during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Today, the supply of ABHR has normalised. However, the increased supply of ABHR raised concerning issues around the risk of some unsuitable products that were found to be contaminated with methanol, insufficient alcohol content and false antimicrobial claims.1-3 The quality of the ABHR, especially for hospital usage, is something that should not be compromised.
This article aims to address this gap in knowledge, by discussing the type of testing that a credible ABHR should undergo to determine its antimicrobial efficacy – this includes in vitro tests against bacteria, yeast, viruses, and the practical tests on the hands of human volunteers. By the end of the article, the reader should have a greater appreciation of the testing that an ABHR should have and, hopefully, that information will facilitate the correct selection of the right product for their hand hygiene endeavor in the respective hospitals.
EN system overview
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