Bacteria shown to have built immunity to hand sanitizers


#21

I dislike giardia more. (and yes, it is effective)


#22

the tests that compare the effectiveness of soapy water to antibacterials usually have washing occur under ideal conditions. 20 seconds of very thorough washing, including finger crotches and cuticles. Most people are not that patient or thorough. I mean, yeah, broad spectrum antibiotics are a terrible idea, but let’s not go pretending that handwashing was going all that well for the general population.

I was never a hand sanitizer guy, then I moved to NYC and started riding the subway. If I’m going straight home or straight to the office, I wait and wash my hand the way my dad (operating room tech) taught me, but otherwise, I can just feel the subwayness on me like a coating.


#23

Thanks, I just read the entire post in the voice of Professor Farnsworth.

But yeah, we’re doomed.


#24

Dave Allen had a routine about those 0.01% of germs not killed by sanitizers, but I can’t find it right now.


#25

Well, the phages do pretty well. The problem is that they are, after all, organisms that increase exponentially. Thus, the bacterial population either stays out of reach (not helpful) or dies rapidly. Unfortunately for us, when many bacterial lyse, the release endotoxins and it’s the toxins that kill us.


#26

I would have thought that hospitals would have placed their bets on handwashing and freaking gloves! The dribble sanitizers are OK for supermarket paranoia, but when you’re dealing with the real thing in industrial strength, there’s nothing like a barrier.


#27

My work is done here.


#28

In nursing/ general medical field, which is where this is the scariest, once you enter a patient’s room, you must clean your hands, and once you exit the patient’s room you must clean your hands. An RN will have in a standard-ish hospital around 5 patients a shift; checking vitals, dispensing medicine, doing assessments, so within an hour, you’re going to visit at least 3 rooms, that’s 6 hand washings and if you think your skin gets dry after sanitizing them, well, let’s just say things get rough when you wash your hands at minimum 24 times in an 8 hour shift, and that’s if you completely trust everyone else to be washing their hands before they use one of the various computers, where you document every thing you do and get most of your info. Now, with that dry, easily torn skin, you’re going to interact with people who have various diseases, granted there are precautions for patients known to have certain contact communicable pathogens, but you won’t know this until they show symptoms, or you do.

Now, you could wear gloves at all times, but that’s going to get uncomfortable, and sweaty, and basically you’re just inching the problem slightly to the left and no hospital is going to let you forego hand hygiene so it’s basically a null point.

Thinking about it some more, visiting each of your 5 patients in the first hour and again in the last hour brings the number up to 28 hand washings.

All in all, this is a bad situation.

Maybe the “great filter” that solves Fermi’s Paradox isn’t nuclear annihilation, it’s bacterial resistance; now that’s a scary thought


#29

Alcohol-based “washes” weren’t very good in the first place. 99% kill was about at good as you could get, which isn’t even on the scale of classification for disinfection/sterilization. What is worrying is that bacteria are building resistance to chlorine-based disinfection chemicals, and that is bad.


#30

Dors it invole lighting the alcohol based hand sanitizer on fire? Seems like a win-win, burn off the rest of the baddies and you have flaming hands…


#31

Why? Why must you? My mom was an RN for 25 years and things like this is why she left. It was basically to the point where if you wanted to touch the patient at all you had to wear gloves. She remembers a time when gloves were for bodily fluid contact…

Plus given what I saw growing up when I visited her at the hospital conpared to now…yeah the medical industry has certain slide down hill.


#32

Because if the patient acquires a hospital infection, their insurance company doesn’t have to pay for their stay.


#33

So we want perfection…
Instead we are just creating a perfect breeding ground for super bugs to reek havoc for everyone.

Common sense goes a long way. So does data analyses. Are hospital contacted infections significantly better now that 30 years ago - that’s a realitivly serious question, which probably has a lot of factors that would go into each case.

My mom always wondered why people thought the hospital was a clean place…it is where all the sick people go.


#34

Perfection? Not quite; Short term profits, definitely.

As for your question about hospital infection rates, I can’t honestly give you a purely data driven answer, but Nursing Informatics is a growing field and I’m sure the hospital billing firms would have the numbers.

Hospitals stink of disinfectant, which gives people to impression that that they clean, and by all means you would think or want to think you’d be getting better in a clean/ germ free environment, but it’s a dangerous place, and the hospitals and insurance companies are aware of that, trying to get people out as soon as possible. Granted, nursing homes are usually worse, and that’s where the vast majority of community borne infections occur.

The sad thing is that it all comes down to money; from staffing to stocking the store rooms, everything has costs, and for a private hospital, rising costs are the anathema to the necessity of an ever growing profit margin. “Public” hospitals face similar challenges, having to offer competitive salaries to attract the best doctors, to get more patients; in order to get more funding in order to get better equipment to get more patients. It’s the Red Queen effect, only we’re starting to fall behind.


#35

The most hand sanitizer I ever used was when my daughter was in the NICU, those are some tiny babies with barely existent immune systems.


#36

Sure, until you meet the soap-resistant bacteria.


#37

I’ll counter with equally likely bacteria-resistant humans.