New Study Shows the Most Effective Way to Wash Your Hands

Kaleigh M April 22nd 2016 Lifestyle
According to the CDC, about 2 million patients get hospital-related infections each year. Recently, research has proven that you are most likely washing your hands incorrectly. In order to discover the most effective way to clean hands and stay healthy, they enlisted the help of medical professionals. A recent study focuses on the cleanliness of the hands of medical professionals actively working in a hospital. In the hospital studied, there were two widely accepted ways to clean hands with alcohol-based hand sanitizer. The study had the professionals wash their hands using alcohol-based hand sanitizer using one of the two established methods, followed by testing the amount of pathogens on their hands afterwards. The first method of hand-washing originates from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the United States’ leading national public health institute. The CDC’s method for cleansing hands is simple and to the point: a quick squirt in hand sanitizer and a general cleanse by just wiping the hands together.
The second form of hand-washing commonly known comes from the World Health Organization. The World Health Organization is a United Nations agency that deals with international public health. While the CDC’s method is straight and to the point, the World Health Organization’s method is a little bit more intricate. While it uses the same alcohol-based sanitizer, the hand movements are more planned out. The routine goes a little something like this: rub both palms together, rub the palm of both hands over the back of the other hand interlacing fingers, twist palms with fingers interlaced, interlock your fingers and twist them again - this time with the back of your fingers against the palms. In case you haven’t gotten lost yet, the routine starts to end by clasping your left thumb in your right hand and rotate. The last bit of the routine involves pressing your right fingers together in a circular motion in the left palm then switching to the other hand. Scientific testing and research reveals that the method brought to light by the World Health Organization was more effective than the CDC’s method.
This routine by the World Health Organization may seem excessive and many don’t see this long routine as worth it. In fact, only 2/3 of the doctors completed the experiment using the longer method. While the longer routine took about 42 seconds, the simpler method established by the CDC takes an average of only 35 seconds. While the time difference was significant, the study reveals that the longer method does in fact clean the hands significantly more than the CDC’s method. Research estimates that doctors and nurses working in a hospital correctly clean their hands only half the amount of time they should. In addition, the author of the study makes sure to mention that although the experiment was conducted with alcohol-based hand sanitizers, the World Health Organization’s hand washing method would also be just as effective with good ole’ soap and water. This study demonstrates how one’s follow-through can play a role just as significant as microbiological effectiveness in hand washing. The extra time spent cleaning your hands may end up protecting you in the end.


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