Clinical Microbiology and Antimicrobial Chemotherapy. 2004; 6(1):65-91
Hands of health-care workers is a key factor for transmission of pathogens from HCWs to patients and from patients to HCWs. This paper gives the review of guidelines for hand hygiene currently accepted in USA and Europe. Observational studies, indicating definitive impact of improved hand hygiene on health-care-associated infections rates are also presented. Actual hand hygiene practices among HCWs are considered. Factors influencing adherence to hand-hygiene practices by HCWs as well as methods used to promote improved hand hygiene in health-care settings are described in detail. Issues concerning surgical disinfection of hands are emphasized. Benefits of use of alcohol-based hand rubs are underlined. Methods of surgical hand antisepsis currently used in Russia and available antiseptic products are also presented.