Study finds low hand hygiene compliance rates during anesthesia administration

June 30, 2014

Anesthesia providers are missing opportunities to clean their hands during surgical procedures, according to a study published in the July issue of the American Journal of Infection Control, the official publication of the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC).

In the study, researchers at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center used video observation to map patterns of anesthesia provider hand contact with anesthesia work environment surfaces to assess compliance. Researchers observed an average of 149 hand hygiene opportunities per hour of anesthesia time. Hand hygiene compliance was lowest during the first and last 20-minute time periods. The low hand hygiene compliance rates at case start and case end corresponded with sharp peaks in bacterial contamination of the 20 most frequently touched objects during these same time periods.

According to the study, conducted at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, anesthesia providers were least likely to perform hand hygiene immediately before patient contact and after contact with the patient's environment. They were most likely to perform hand hygiene after potential exposure to body fluids.

The World Healthcare Organization specifies five moments for hand hygiene to reduce the risk of healthcare-associated infection: 1) before touching a patient; 2) before a clean procedure; 3) after exposure to ; 4) after touching a patient; and 5) after touching a patient's surroundings.

"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 ," state the authors.

The study points out that complete compliance with hand hygiene guidelines that are established for non-operating room environments would consume more than the 60 minutes available in each hour of anesthesia time, "a fact that identifies a need to create more practical – but still effective – methods of controlling bacterial transmission in anesthesia work environments," the authors write. "New methods to reduce of the anesthesia work environment are needed to prevent healthcare-associated infections."

Infections that occur after surgery are one of the most common types of healthcare-associated infections. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are approximately 157,000 each year.

Explore further: Study measures impact of education, information on hand hygiene compliance

More information: "Video observation to map hand contact and bacterial transmission in operation rooms," by John Rowlands, Mark P. Yeager, Michael Beach, Hetal M. Patel, Bridget C. Huysman, and Randy W. Loftus, appears in the American Journal of Infection Control, Volume 42, Issue 7 (July 2014).

Related Stories

Study measures impact of education, information on hand hygiene compliance

October 29, 2013
How often do you clean your hands? A study at Rhode Island Hospital observed staff on 161,526 occasions to monitor how often they cleaned their hands (ie, hand hygiene) between July 2008 to December 2012 and found that hand ...

Latex gloves lead to lax hand hygiene in hospitals, study finds

November 3, 2011
Healthcare workers who wear gloves while treating patients are much less likely to clean their hands before and after patient contact, according to a study published in the December issue of Infection Control and Hospital ...

Nearly 97 percent of health professionals wash their hands when patients are asked to watch

March 31, 2014
Improving hand hygiene compliance by healthcare professionals is no easy task, but a first-of-its-kind Canadian study by researchers at Women's College Hospital shows simply asking patients to audit their healthcare professional ...

Patients shy away from asking healthcare workers to wash hands

November 12, 2012
According to a new study published online today, most patients at risk for healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) agree that healthcare workers should be reminded to wash their hands, but little more than half would feel ...

ACEP: emergency care providers have poor hand hygiene: survey

November 15, 2013
(HealthDay)—Only 13 percent of emergency medical personnel say they clean their hands before touching patients, according to the results of a survey presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Emergency Physicians, ...

New strategies to combat MRSA in hospitals

June 11, 2014
New guidelines aim to reduce the prevalence of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), improve patient safety and prioritize current prevention efforts underway in hospitals. This drug resistant bacterium is a ...

Recommended for you

To combat teen smoking, health experts recommend R ratings for movies that depict tobacco use

July 21, 2017
Public health experts have an unusual suggestion for reducing teen smoking: Give just about any movie that depicts tobacco use an automatic R rating.

Aging Americans enjoy longer life, better health when avoiding three risky behaviors

July 20, 2017
We've heard it before from our doctors and other health experts: Keep your weight down, don't smoke and cut back on the alcohol if you want to live longer.

Opioids and obesity, not 'despair deaths,' raising mortality rates for white Americans

July 20, 2017
Drug-related deaths among middle-aged white men increased more than 25-fold between 1980 and 2014, with the bulk of that spike occurring since the mid-1990s when addictive prescription opioids became broadly available, according ...

Parents have critical role in preventing teen drinking

July 20, 2017
Fewer teenagers are drinking alcohol but more needs to be done to curb the drinking habits of Australian school students, based on the findings of the latest study by Adelaide researchers.

Fresh fish oil lowers diabetes risk in rat offspring

July 19, 2017
Fresh fish oil given to overweight pregnant rats prevented their offspring from developing a major diabetes risk factor, Auckland researchers have found.

High-dose vitamin D doesn't appear to reduce the winter sniffles for children

July 18, 2017
Giving children high doses of vitamin D doesn't appear to reduce the winter sniffles, a new study has found.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.