Touch is behind the spread of infection-causing germs in hospital environments. To stem infection risks, hand hygiene has turned into a priority over the past 20 years, with handwashing and the use of medical-grade hand sanitizer being two tandem methods emphasized in these settings, as well as in nursing homes and dialysis centers.
What Is Medical-Grade Hand Sanitizer?
Multiple types of hand sanitizers can be found on the market. Active ingredients vary, but studies have shown that alcohol-based formulas not only cut down on the amounts of bacteria present, but they’re also more effective than iodine- or triclosan-based solutions.
In 2002, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated its handwashing recommendations. Since implemented by hospitals and other medical facilities, the guidelines specify that caregivers should wash their hands with soap and water as a first line of defense.
Secondly, if stains or dirt are not present on their hands, they should then sanitize and decontaminate their hands with a water-free antiseptic agent.
If soap and water aren’t available, a medical-grade hand sanitizer containing 60 to 95% alcohol serves as a substitute. Its usage helps protect the caregiver against bacterial exposures and halts the spread of infection-causing germs to patients.
How Medical-Grade Hand Sanitizers Work
Also referred to as “hospital-grade hand sanitizers,” solutions with a 60% minimum alcohol concentration can:
– Reduce the number of microorganisms present on visually clean hands.
– Are more effective at killing certain types of germs and microorganisms compared to hand sanitizers with a lower percentage of alcohol — a non-hospital grade product.
Additionally, hand sanitizers with a lower percentage are not subject to the same regulatory standards as medical-grade products and, instead, may be classified as cosmetics. Lower-grade formulas don’t provide the same efficacy and, rather, may only serve to control instead of kill bacteria and microorganisms.
Nevertheless, medical-grade hand sanitizers are not a panacea:
– By themselves, medical-grade hand sanitizers do not kill all types of germs. Instead, handwashing remains more effective for targeting Cryptosporidium, norovirus and Clostridium difficile.
– Application matters. Even with a higher percentage of alcohol, hand sanitizers lose effectiveness when they’re wiped off before fully drying on the skin. Instead, the formula should be
applied the whole hand — palms and fingers — and be allowed to dry completely.
Browse all medical-grade hand sanitizers available today to supply your home or hospital with the germ-killing strength to stop the spread of infection-causing bacteria.