More hygienic than soap and water
07 March 2013
Research conducted by Diversey has demonstrated the infection control, occupational health and cost saving benefits of cleaning patients in care homes and hospitals with disposable wipes instead of traditional soap and water.
The new disposable Soft Care Body Wash Gloves are manufactured from non-woven synthetic fibres and are shaped like a glove.The active ingredient is a blend of surfactants impregnated into the wipe which remains safe and gentle for the patient and carer during prolonged contact.
The trials conducted by Diversey during 2009/10 measured the amount of contamination at the test site to provide a benchmark before the introduction of the new wipes.This included taking bacteriological samples from hard surfaces and wash basins.
All samples were tested by an independent laboratory to provide an accurate measure of contamination levels.
The study found that water became heavily contaminated with bacteria when washing patients with soap and water.This contamination can be transferred to otherwise uninfected patients and clean surfaces by water splashes and spills or when carers inadvertently touch surfaces with their hands as they move around a ward after using a cloth.
A separate laboratory test measured the amount of bacteria on hands after washing a patient with water and with a wash wipe.This showed that the wipes left almost no trace of bacteria on the hands whereas hands used for washing patients with water were heavily contaminated.
The second part of the study investigated the ergonomic and efficiency benefits of the wipes over soap and water using a range of industry-standard measurement techniques.The average time needed to wash each patient with soap and water was 15 minutes.
However, with the wipes the average wash time was 12 minutes, largely because the patient is wiped once and there is no need to rinse or dry them.
The occupational health benefits for carers was also studied.The carers were found to make fewer movements when washing patients with a wipe and spent 30% less time each hour bending over more than 20Â° and 27% less time raising their arms more than 20Â°.
The final stage of the study assessed the potential cost savings of switching to Soft Care Body Wash Gloves.With wet washing each patient required a bowl with four litres of water, one towel, three wash cloths, personal soap and a pair of disposable latex gloves for the carer.With the new washing method each patient required a pack of five wipes, the occasional use of a towel and a pair of disposable latex gloves for the carer. Switching to Soft Care Body Wash Gloves therefore helps eliminate the purchase costs of all the hand cloths, soap and most towels as well as the running costs associated with supplying and heating water and laundering the hand cloths and towels.