Antiseptic Hand Washing Solution in Hospital Setting

Hospital environments are always prone to many infections because patients who visit such premises suffer from various diseases. There is the risk of re-infections among patients who visit such premises if proper care is not taken. Should this happen, it would leave the patients in a worse situation than before the visit to the hospital. It also exposes the health practitioners to dangers of nosocomial infections from patients they treat. This problem is more prevalent in developing countries. Many researchers have pointed out the fact that developing countries lack proper infection control mechanisms that would ensure safety of their patients and employees when they are within the hospital premises (Clark, & Richard, 2004).

It is better to prevent such infections than to treat the infected individuals. The cost associated with prevention is cheaper than what it would take to treat it. Some of the commonly used preventive practices include sterilization, risk stratification, safe injection practices, hand decontamination, use of protective clothing, and cleaning the hospital environment (Garner, & Favero, 1986). The main issue is to ensure that there is proper control of bacteria within the hospital environment, especially in operation theatres and other Intensive Care Units.

For this reason, there is need to establish antiseptic solutions that would ensure that the hospital environment is free from infectious bacterium. All instruments used in the hospital should be sterilized and the health practitioners should ensure that they constantly wash their hands to minimize chances of spreading infections (Galle, Homesley, & Rhyne, 1978). Antiseptics and hand washing solutions have proven to be very effective in eliminating such bacteria. Management of various hospitals have the responsibility of ensuring that their premises are equipped with approved antiseptics and that the hospital workers (doctors, nurses and other subordinate staffs) have preventive wears to ensure their own protection. This would as also prevent re-infection.

The task of fighting re-infection among patients and infection of hospital workers should be the duty of all stakeholders within the concerned hospital fraternity (Lucet, 2002). The management, doctors and nurses, as well as other subordinate staff should appreciate the fact that there is need to ensure the working environment is not only safe for the patients who come for the treatment, but also to others who are part of the hospital community (Larson, 1995). As other staff members maintain hygiene and apply recommended code of conduct in their various units of operations, the management should ensure that they provide this team with some of the most current antiseptics and scrubbing solutions (Ayliffe, 1992). There should also be a smooth flow of information from the management to employees.

Some of the preferred antiseptic scrubbing solutions that are currently in use include isopropyl alcohol, chlorhexidine gluconate, iodophors, and chlorhexidine. They have been proven effective in killing bacteria in various surfaces (Block, 2001). However, they have some disadvantages, making them inappropriate for use in developing countries. This makes infection prevention practices as the best method of eliminating nosocomial infections in such countries.

For ICU where chances of re-infections are high, it is recommended that antibiotic lock therapy, quinolone prophylaxis, or the use of antimicrobial-impregnated catheters be applied (Damani, & Emmerson, 2003). This could influence susceptibility to CR-BSIs, which have been shown to affect the use of antimicrobial therapy. The ultimate goal is to eliminate nosocomial infections in developing countries. If properly implemented, the hospitals will be free of nosocomial infections (Larson, 2001). This safety in hospitals will help improve healthcare.


Ayliffe, G. (1992). Control of hospital infections: a practical handbook (3rd ed). London: Chapman and Hall.

Block, S. (2001). Disinfection, sterilization, and preservation (5th ed.). Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Clark, R., & Richard, P. (2004). Nosocomial Infection in the NICU: A Medical Complication or Unavoidable Problem? Journal of Perinatology, 24(1), 382–388.

Damani, N., & Emmerson, A. (2003). Manual of Infection Control Procedures (2nd ed.). California: Cambridge University Press.

Galle, P., Homesley, H.D., & Rhyne, A.L. (1978). Reassessment of the surgical. environmental control. Infect Control, 7(1), 231-5.

Garner, J.S., & Favero, M.S. (1986). CDC guideline for hand washing and hospital scrub. Surg Gynecol Obstet., 147(2), 215–218

Larson, E.L. (1995). APIC Guideline for Hand Washing and Hand Antisepsis in Health Care Settings. Web.

Larson, E.L. (2001). Comparison of different regimens for surgical hand preparation. AORN J., 73(2), 412–432.

Lucet, J. (2002). Hand contamination before and after different hand hygiene techniques: a randomized clinical trial. Journal of Hospital Infection, 50(4), 276–280.

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