Research for infection protection
  • germs
  • Adenovirus
  • Aspergillus niger
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  • Clostridium difficile
  • Candida albicans
  • Candida albicans
  • Coronavirus
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  • Helicobacter pylori

Author: Girou, E. / Chai, S. / Oppein, F. / Legrand, P. / Ducellier, D. / Cizeau, F. / Brun-Buisson, C. (2004) Source: Girou, E. et al. Misuse of gloves: the foundation for poor compliance with hand hygiene and potential for microbial transmission? J Hosp Inf, 2004, Vol. 57

STUDY

Girou, E. / Chai, S. / Oppein, F. / Legrand, P. / Ducellier, D. / Cizeau, F. / Brun-Buisson, C. (2004)

Single-use gloves – the crux for hand disinfection?

Background: When used correctly, single-use gloves protect staff and patients against pathogens. Acting as effective barrier to potentially infectious fluids, skin areas and objects, single-use gloves prevent a contamination of employees’ hands and cross contamination of patients. However, studies show that single-use gloves are frequently used wrongly and too often. Hence, this study evaluated this behaviour’s influence in daily routine: the scientists examined the influence of glove use on hand hygiene compliance and the risk of bacterial transmission due to improper use of single-use gloves.


Methods: Girou et al. conducted a prospective observational study. Over a period of four weeks, the employees of five hospital wards were observed twice a day when using single-use gloves. The wards were three intensive care units, one dermatological and one diabetes ward – all of them units with a high prevalence of multidrug-resistant bacteria. During the observation of contacts between staff and patients with multidrug-resistant pathogens differing information was collected, including whether gloves were used, whether contact with body fluids occurred, and whether a final hand disinfection was performed. After the observation, used gloves were examined at random for contamination.


Results: The behaviour of 120 employees was observed in 101 observations. There was a total of 784 contacts with 30 patients, who were infected or colonised with potentially pathogenic bacteria. For 94 % of contacts gloves were used, although only indicated for 58 % of the cases. In 8 % of the situations that actually required gloves no gloves were used. Hand hygiene compliance after glove removal was 51.5 %. Around two thirds of all recorded patient contacts were conducted without adequate hand hygiene, as potentially contaminated gloves were not removed.

Approximately 82 % of the patient contacts that required aseptic techniques were performed with potentially contaminated gloves. This means that pathogens could have been transmitted during around every fifth patient contact.

22 gloves were examined for pathogenic bacteria. The result: 86 % of the samples were contaminated.


Conclusions: With their study Girou et al. demonstrate that improper gloving is an important risk factor for inadequate compliance with hand hygiene. Additionally, the non-stop use of gloves during patient contact increases the risk of cross contamination and nosocomial infection. The scientists state that a high hand hygiene compliance rate is only possible if gloves are used rationally and as indicated. An effective measure could be alcohol-based hand disinfectants: they can encourage employees to use gloves adequately as alcohol-based rubs are easy to use and extremely effective, conclude Girou et al.


Source:
Girou, E. et al. Misuse of gloves: the foundation for poor compliance with hand hygiene and potential for microbial transmission? J Hosp Inf, 2004, Vol. 57


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