Hand hygiene: Benefits and risks of remanent active ingredients in alcohol-based hand disinfectants.
Teaser: In addition to containing alcohol, some commonly used hand disinfectants also contain remanent active substances such as chlorhexidine (CHG), mecetronium ethylsulfate (MES) or ortho-phenylphenol (OPP) to improve the sustained activity. However, according to scientific evidence, remanent active ingredients offer no benefit, neither for hygienic nor for surgical hand disinfection – but pose risks to skin health. The current recommendations “Händehygiene in Einrichtungen des Gesundheitswesens” (Hand hygiene in healthcare facilities) and “Prävention postoperativer Wundinfektionen” (Prevention of surgical site infection) issued by the “Kommission für Krankenhaushygiene und Infektionsprävention” (abbr.: KRINKO; German Commission for Hospital Hygiene and Infection Prevention) therefore advise against using hand disinfectants containing remanent active ingredients.