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Are hospital infections better avoidable through special hygiene measures?
Infections with hospital germs have been a growing problem in German clinics for years. With the existing approaches to avoid infections, these can obviously not be adequately controlled. The effect of special washes on the risk of infection is now to be examined in a large clinical study on hospital hygiene.
Doctors at the University Hospital Leipzig have asked themselves how hospital infections can be effectively prevented by everyday activities. From January 2017, a study will therefore be underway there to investigate the effect of special washes on the risk of infection. The study is designed for a period of three years and is carried out at 45 intensive care units across Germany.
High risk in intensive care units
According to the Leipzig physicians, "patients in intensive care units are particularly vulnerable to hospital infections" and the hygienic precautions taken to protect them are correspondingly high. This also includes the daily washing of the seriously ill patients by the nursing staff. As part of the "EFFECT study" that has now started, it is being investigated whether and how the effect of the wash can be improved, according to the Leipzig University Clinic.
Wash gloves with disinfectant
In the study, the researchers specifically examine the use of special wash gloves soaked in the disinfectant octenidine in daily washes. So far, octenidine has mainly been used to disinfect smaller areas of the body and wash the whole body of patients with multi-resistant pathogens, reports the Leipzig University Hospital. Daily whole-body washing with octenidine wash gloves is only occasionally used in some hospitals in Germany.
Better effect against multi-resistant pathogens
Study leader Prof. Iris Chaberny explains that the study is a novelty because "so far there have been no systematic, prospective studies on the general routine use of this active ingredient for washing patients." The advantage of the drug is that - other than with So far common means - no allergic reactions or other side effects are known. In addition, "there is still no resistance to this active ingredient, so that we also hope to have protective effects against the multi-resistant pathogens that worry us the most," emphasizes the study director.
Improve care for seriously ill patients
During the randomized, double-blind and placebo-controlled study, the effective protection of the patient “remains ensured throughout, because even outside the study, all the necessary precautionary measures are guaranteed with the daily routine washes to date,” says Prof. Chaberny. However, the researchers are also hoping for approaches that can significantly improve the care of seriously ill patients. "The aim is to simplify work processes and to be able to give very specific practical tips - for example whether disinfectant wash gloves offer better protection against infections," emphasizes the study director. (fp)