A new study published in the July issue of the American Journal of Infection Control found the majority of anesthesia providers are missing important opportunities to clean their hands during surgical procedures.
The study, done by researchers at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, used video observation to gather data on the patterns of hand washing among anesthesia providers. It found that out of an average of 149 hand hygiene opportunities per hour of anesthesia time, compliance was lowest during the first and last 20-minute time periods. The study also found that anesthesia providers are most likely to perform hand hygiene after potential exposure to a patient’s bodily fluids.
“This work adds to the body of evidence pertaining to intraoperative bacterial transmission because it identifies targets for improved frequency and quality of environmental cleaning as well as important periods for hand hygiene compliance, namely induction and emergence from general anesthesia,” stated the authors of the study.
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