Study: Many anesthesiologists fail to wash hands

Patient Safety Monitor Insider

July 9, 2014

A new study suggests that anesthesiologists may be putting patients at risk for infections because they aren’t taking advantage of opportunities to wash their hands, according to a report from newspaper website Philly.com.

According to the study conducted by researchers with the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, anesthesiologists were least likely to properly clean their hands during the first and last 20 minutes of patient anesthesia, which corresponds with sharp increases in bacterial contamination of the 20 most frequently touched objects during these same time periods, the report said.

The study, published in the July issue of the American Journal of Infection Control, also found that anesthesiologists were least likely to properly clean their hands immediately before patient contact and after contact with the patient's surroundings, and most likely to properly clean their hands after potential exposure to body fluids, the report continued.