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Hospital Hand Gels - please read this if you have a moment!

(1 Post)
Pushpinia Wed 24-Sep-08 05:53:50

I felt that it was a good idea to post something about the subject on here as it might just possible reach some people who don't know. (A lot of nurses don't know)

Hospital hand gels are not effective against some diseases.

I'm writing this NOT as a medical professional (so please don't take my advice as official and please check with your Dr before doing anything) but as someone who has somehow managed to get C diff (a couple of months ago - I am mainly better now but it has taken ages) and I have been reading a lot about it on the internet, and I really want to pass on some of that knowledge - but this is the main thing:

If you have a relative or if you yourself are in hospital, PLEASE ask everyone who comes near you/them to WASH their hands with soap and water.

This is because C diff is not affected by alcohol gel or rubs, it is only killed by bleach but the best practise with hands is to wash them thoroughly as this removes the bacteria physically, even if it does not kill them.

Alcohol gels have given people a misguided sense of security - they are effective against all sorts of other things but not C diff.

Most people who get C diff have recently taken antibiotics - this predisposes you to the infection as they kill the good, protective bacteria in your gut allowing the nasties to take hold and make you very ill.

I had a course of broad spec antibiotics, went to the hospital because the Out of Hours was based there, and I believe that is where I picked up the bug.

So please be very careful and remember to wash your hands carefully and not rely on the gels.


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