[Pharmwaste] RE: hand sanitizer

Matthew C. Mireles mirelesmc at earthlink.net
Tue Sep 29 18:19:44 EDT 2009


Dr. Jerry Miller, an epidemiologist, at our Foundation would be a good person to consult with.  He did a fellowship at CDC in Atlanta and is now our VP for Research.

For schools and some clinical facilitites, we recommend simple, proper handwashing with soap and warm water as well as prudent hygiene and sanitation practices.  Some school districts are presenting learning lessons with practices in the lavatory for the correct handwashing.  I heard one school has kids reciting the alphabet A-Z (approx 15 sec--about same time recommended by CDC for kids) to time how long they should lather hands with soap before rinsing.  Paper napkins or motion-sensed driers are used to dry hands.  Some even instruct kids to avoid touching door handles and open the door with a paper napkin and throw the napkin the waste basket right outside the restroom.

Kids are reminded to cover their nose and mouths with tissue when they sneeze or cough.  If tissue paper is not available, they are instructed to cough or sneeze into their folded upper arms so they won't spread germs.  It's hoot to walk into a classroom as see kids practicing how to cough into their arms.  Many lessons that I'm mentioned are strategies being used mainly on the west coast as an introduction to personal hygiene as well as proper etiquette.

Hand sanitizing, disinfecting gels, liquids, ointments, etc. are useful in some occasions but probably not too wise as an effort to prevent infection and cross contamination.  to require parents to provide the product to their kids without sufficient rationale for the parents or the kids might be interpreted as an extraneous attempt to combat the H1N1 epidemic.  There's already a misplaced fear of H1N1 being spread by pork products.  Please save the bacon!

Reliance on only these liquids or gel sanitzers may produce some unintended consequences.  CDC reports 2 million cases of nosocomial infections in our hospitals resulting in 90,000 deaths of our patients each year.  Hospitals are frantically investing money into putting dispensers with hand sanitizers on the floors, in patients' rooms, waiting rooms, etc.  Some hospitals hire secret monitors to observe handwashing and record noncompliance; some even pay staff members to wash their hands correctly out of sheer desperation.  in addition to carrying the stethoscope and cheat sheets in their pockets, many nurses and docs are given courtesy of the medical supply companies personal bottles of hand sanitzers.  Hence, many are skippping the standard sink and soap routine.  

The results have not been too impressive: infection rate has not gotten better.  As a matter of fact, healthcare professionals' behavior and attitude with proper handwashing have worsen.  

We were contracted by a major company in Austin TX to provide a health education and promotion poster for handwashing--we recommended soap and water and hygiene.  We thought about inviting those kids to do a demo for the company's execs and remind them that sometimes simple is best, like the ABCs.


Matthew C. Mireles, PhD, MPH
President and CEO
Community Medical Foundation for Patient Safety




-----Original Message-----
>From: "Gressitt, Stevan" <Stevan.Gressitt at maine.gov>
>Sent: Sep 29, 2009 2:39 PM
>To: Lyle Milby <Lyle.Milby at NormanOK.gov>, "Suhr, Marcus W." <MSuhr at ChristianaCare.org>, pharmwaste at lists.dep.state.fl.us
>Subject: RE: [Pharmwaste] RE: hand sanitizer
>
>Let's see, 62% Ethyl Alcohol= 124 proof? Jack Daniels is what? 
>
>Stevan Gressitt, M.D., Medical Director
>Office of Adult Mental Health Services
>Department of Health and Human Services
>Marquardt Building, 2nd Floor
>11 State House Station
>32 Blossom Lane
>Augusta, ME  04333-0011
>Ph: (207)287-4273
>Fax: (207)287-1022
>Cell Phone: (207) 441-0291
>E-Mail : stevan.gressitt at maine.gov
>http://www.maine.gov/dhhs/mh/
> 
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>-----Original Message-----
>From: pharmwaste-bounces at lists.dep.state.fl.us
>[mailto:pharmwaste-bounces at lists.dep.state.fl.us] On Behalf Of Lyle
>Milby
>Sent: Tuesday, September 29, 2009 3:28 PM
>To: Suhr, Marcus W.; pharmwaste at lists.dep.state.fl.us
>Subject: RE: [Pharmwaste] RE: hand sanitizer
>
>Our school system is putting these out in all of the schools at the
>recommendation of the County Health Department in response to H1N1.  Our
>Fire Department expressed reservations but they decided to go ahead with
>it.  I assume it is an alcohol based product because of the fire
>department concern.
>
>Lyle Milby
>City of Norman
>Environmental Services
>P.O. Box 370
>Norman, OK  73070
>(405) 292-9731
>lyle.milby at normanok.gov
>
>
>-----Original Message-----
>From: pharmwaste-bounces at lists.dep.state.fl.us
>[mailto:pharmwaste-bounces at lists.dep.state.fl.us] On Behalf Of Suhr,
>Marcus W.
>Sent: Tuesday, September 29, 2009 2:20 PM
>To: pharmwaste at lists.dep.state.fl.us
>Subject: [Pharmwaste] RE: hand sanitizer
>
>I read an article where a child was poisoned by alcohol sanitizer
>recently.  Its only a matter of time before a child dies, or they start
>getting the swift idea of lighting it.  My own step-son was required by
>the school to bring a bottle to begin the year.  This is a clear example
>of bringing an item to market, and not enough controls.  Everyone thinks
>sanitizer is so great.  
>
>Anyone else being requested to bring it to school?    
>
>Marcus Suhr, ASP 
>Industrial Hygienist 
>Christiana Care Health Services 
>Occupational Safety Department, Office L840J 
>4755 Ogletown-Stanton Road 
>Newark, DE 19718 
>302-733-3787 (office)
>302-573-7662 (pager) 
>302-733-3771 (fax) 
>MSuhr at christianacare.org
>
>
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