African Journal of Infectious Diseases

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A controlled, crossover study of a persistent antiseptic to reduce hospital-acquired infection

P Kampiatu, J Cozean


Background: Alcohol sanitizers have not been demonstrated to reduce hospital-acquired infections over handwashing alone in controlled, welldesigned clinical studies. A major reason for this may be the failure of traditional alcohol sanitizers to provide any residual, or persistent, activity. Any lapse in hand hygiene protocol then leaves patients and staff open to transmitting pathogens. The purpose of the study was to determine whether a persistent sanitizer would reduce hospital-acquired infection in a hospital setting as compared to handwashing alone.
Materials and Methods: A controlled, crossover study was conducted in three wards of a hospital over the course of three months. Two months were assigned as control periods, while the third month the test product was added. More than 6,000 patient-days were evaluated. Hospital staff were given a questionnaire to determine overall satisfaction with the product. The product used was a persistent, alcohol-based hand sanitizer (Zylast Antiseptic, 76% v/v ethyl alcohol)
Results: Control data showed that the hospital had a standard hospital-acquired infection rate of 23.1% across the three wards. No hospital- acquired infections were reported during use of the Antiseptic. The product was well tolerated by the staff and improved skin condition.
Conclusion: The Antiseptic was demonstrated to significantly (p < 0.0005) reduce the hospital-acquired infection rate as compared to handwashing alone and is well-tolerated in a healthcare setting. The novel, persistent product has the ability to significantly reduce hospital-acquired infection and improve patient care in medical facilities.

Key words: Hospital-acquired infection, benzethonium chloride, antiseptic, Zylast, nosocomial infection, persistent, hand hygiene
AJOL African Journals Online