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Washing hands is a smart preventive; so is washing trauma patients

March 15, 2010 |  5:29 pm

Ambulances Swabbing down trauma patients with disposable, antiseptic-laced cloths appears to pay off in terms of infection control. 

Doctors at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle found that patients given a daily antiseptic wipe down were much less likely to develop a catheter-related bloodstream infection than patients who received a daily, non-antiseptic wipe down. They were also much less likely to develop either a MRSA or Acinetobacter infection.

Here's more on those catheter infections, MRSA and Acinetobacter from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The full study results, released online Monday, were published in the March issue of Archives of Surgery. Here's a news release from Infection Control Today, plus the abstract. And here's the Reuters health story with a disturbing twist at the end.

If you're interested in the antiseptic used, here's information on chlorhexidine from Mayo Clinic. For at-home use, soap and water should suffice.

-- Tami Dennis

Photo: The trauma's bad enough, but then can come the infections...

Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times