Surgical hand disinfection using alcohol: the effects of alcohol type, mode and duration of application
An alcohol-based hand disinfectant containing a mixture of two highly concentrated propanol types within 1.5 minutes yields an efficacy that is at least as high as the 3-minute hand disinfection with the reference alcohol (EN 12791)
In this study three hand disinfectants based on different types of alcohol were tested in accordance with the European EN 12791 standard with a shortened application time. The three study phases were conducted with 21 and 20 test subjects, respectively. The test persons were divided into three groups for the first two test series and into four groups during the third test series. For the first experimental series, surgical hand disinfection was performed with Sterillium (propan-2-ol 45.0 g, propan-1-ol 30.0 g, mecetronium etilsulfate 0.2 g) and a reference alcohol (n-propanol, 60 % v/v). With a shortened exposure time of 1.5 minutes, Sterillium fulfilled the EN 12791 efficacy requirements, also when the forearms were included. With an exposure time of 3 minutes Sterillium yielded log10 reductions of 3.43 ± 1.28 (immediate effect) and 2.16 ± 1.23 (3-hour-value) and thus even exceeded the efficacy of the reference procedure (immediate reduction: 2.97 ± 0.97; 3-hour value: 1.60 ± 0.97). The second hand disinfectant based on propanol also met the test requirements. The ethanol-based hand disinfectant, however, failed to achieve a sufficient efficacy within the 1.5-minute hand disinfection.