MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Ojan Assadian, M.D., DTMH
Professor for Skin Integrity and Infection Prevention
Institute for Skin Integrity and Infection Prevention
School of Human & Health Sciences
University of Huddersfield
Queensgate, Huddersfield UK
MedicalResearch: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Prof. Assadian: Although medical gloves serve as an important mechanical barrier to prevent healthcare workers’ hands from getting contaminated with potentially pathogenic microorganisms, their inappropriate and incorrect use may support microbial transmission, eventually resulting in indirect horizontal cross-contamination of other patients.
We conducted a clinical study designed to determine the efficacy of a newly developed synthetic antibacterial nitrile medical glove coated with an antiseptic, polyhexamethylen-biguanid hydrochloride (PHMB), on its external surface, and compared this antibacterial glove to an identical non-antibacterial glove in reducing surface contamination after common patient care measures in an intensive care unit.
We found significantly lower numbers of bacteria on surfaces after performing typical clinical activities such as intravenous fluid handling, oral toilet, or physiotherapy, if touched with antibacterial gloves.
MedicalResearch: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?
Prof. Assadian: Hand hygiene is one of the most important measures to prevent infection in the health care setting. The concept of hand hygiene, however, does not start and end with using alcohol-based hand rubs before and after patient care, but includes also the correct use of medical gloves.
In 1996, the US Hospital Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee (HICPAC) published its “Guideline for isolation precautions in hospitals”. This guideline adjusted the previous concept of isolation precautions and introduced the concept of “Standard Precautions”, which mandates that all health-care workers who come in contact with body fluids should wear gloves. However, in practice it is largely ignored that this recommendation does not advocate the use of gloves for all clinical procedures; instead, healthcare workers are advised to assess the risk for possible contamination of hands in each clinical situation. However, frequent and often incorrect usage of glove is increasing observed without adequate risk assessment.
MedicalResearch: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?
Prof. Assadian: Although our study demonstrated that the use of antibacterial medical gloves does support reduction of cross-contamination in the ICU setting, such technical solutions alone do not help in solving issues with compliance to hand hygiene. Certainly it would be wrong to advocate universal use of antibacterial gloves as a measure to reduce cross-contamination instead of following the principles of hand hygiene. We still have to understand reasons for non-compliance to hand hygiene better.
MedicalResearch.com Interview with:Ojan Assadian, M.D., DTMH (2015). Antibacterial Gloves May Reduce Cross Contamination In ICU Setting