Professor Didier Pittet:
The right to hand hygiene

Professor Didier Pittet serves as the director of the Infection Control Programme at the University of Geneva Hospitals and Faculty of Medicine. He was also the lead adviser of World Health Organization’s First Global Patient Safety Challenge: Clean Care is Safer Care.

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Factsheet Hand hygiene: Benefits and risks of remanent active ingredients in alcohol-based hand disinfectants

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.

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L&R Prevent & Protect – platform for infection control

Our informative platform for infection control

L&R Prevent & Protect is intended to keep those in charge of hygiene in the healthcare sector up to date with articles on current research in the fields of hygiene , microbiology and epidemiology. We use scientific studies and complement them with practice-based guidelines , we research helpful facts and report on best-practice experiences of hygiene experts. Our databases on clinically relevant pathogens as well as on basic terms of hygiene and disinfection are updated on an ongoing basis. And we offer helpful and comprehensive information for daily routine in infection prevention .

Our motivation: sound hygiene for clinical practice

The combination of scientific findings and practical application guides all our actions and forms the basis for our user-friendly products and solutions . They allow us to support healthcare professionals in performing caregiving and treatment activities conveniently and efficiently. We assist physicians and nurses in their efforts to prevent infections — to jointly alleviate human suffering and reduce costs caused by infectious diseases.

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