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Top 10 Hand Hygiene Articles in 2014

Patrick Boshell
November 25, 2014

505235011-1.jpgWith the holiday season getting closer everyday, we thought it would be a good time to review the top hand hygiene blog articles of 2014.  Of the many articles published in Deb's Hand Hygiene Blog, here are the top 10 articles released in 2014, ranked by number of views.

10.  Bump The Handshake For Hand Hygiene 

In the context of human exchange, nothing is as versatile as the handshake. Dating back to the 5th Century BC, the practice has become one of the most common customs to meet and greet as well as demonstrate congeniality. But according to Jason Tetro, handshaking does have a darker side microbiologically speaking. Learn more about the history of the fist bump, including a moment that sparked millions to mimic the action.

9.  Water Consumption Reduced with One Simple Change 

Beyond fixing dripping faucets and installing low-flow toilets, companies should consider the hand hygiene products used in their offices or facilities, which can have a significant impact on the total water consumption.  Using foam soap rather than a liquid soap for example can result in reduced water usage and improved hand hygiene behavior.

8.  The Role of Airflow in Microbial Contamination

When we think about cross contamination we tend to think about microbes being transferred from person to person, person to surface contact or, of course, surface to person. What has been less well documented, however, is the transmission of potentially harmful microbes by air movement. BioCote’s team of microbiologists, led by Dr. Andrew Summerfield recently carried out a study to better understand internal air quality and the role that air movement plays in the distribution of microbes within the workspace.

7.  Physicians’ Stethoscopes More Contaminated Than Palms of Their Hand 


Although healthcare workers’ hands are the main source of bacterial transmission in hospitals, physicians’ stethoscopes appear to play a role. To explore this question, investigators at the University of Geneva Hospitals assessed the level of bacterial contamination on physicians’ hands and stethoscopes following a single physical examination. 

6.  What is the 'Germiest' Profession? 

Did you know that your desk is more contaminated than the average toilet seat? In fact, office toilet seats have about 49 germs per square inch compared to desktops at 21,000.  But how can that be when desktops get cleaned frequently?  Dr. Charles Gerba, a microbiologist from the University of Arizona discusses some of the germiest professions.

5.  What is the Most Contaminated Object in Public Washrooms?

If you were to ask someone what object in the bathroom is the most contaminated with bacteria and mould, the answer you would receive is probably “the toilet seat."  However a recent study, undertaken by BioCote, shows that bacteria don’t always thrive in the places we would expect.  

4.  The Butterfly Effect of Hand Hygiene on Antibiotic Resistance 


Ever heard of the Butterfly Effect?  It's a phenomenon that microbiologist Jason Tetro (a.k.a The Germ Guy) introduced to us in this fascinating article that got a lot of healthcare people talking.  

According to the theory, to ensure proper patient safety, a number of small practices, such as compliance with the 5 moments of hand hygiene can lead to a large difference within the healthcare environment.  The most significant observable change would be a reduction in patients presenting with healthcare-associated infections.   

Now we get to the top three hand hygiene blog articles in 2014 based on number of views.  All three articles were written in direct response from questions and comments posted by our readers.  These questions help to demonstrate that we all have lots to learn about hand hygiene.

3.  Is Hot Water More Effective for Washing Hands? 

While many believe hot water is more effective for hand washing this article featured a study that concluded, "the temperature of water used is not related to how well pathogens are eliminated during the process."  Additionally, warmer water can irritate the skin and can affect its protective layer, which may cause it to be less resistant to bacteria.  In fact, skin irritation has been reported as  one of the main reasons many healthcare workers forgo hand hygiene.

2.  Hand Washing vs. Hand Sanitizer in the Fight Against Norovirus 

What do bedbugs and norovirus have in common?  Well recent research has found that like norovirus, it may take only from one to 10 bugs to cause a full-blown infestation.  In this popular article, microbiologist Barry Michaels gives us the science behind the best methods to remove or kill norovirus on hands. 

And now, for the top hand hygiene blog article in 2014 based on number of views.


1.  Is it Safe for Children to Use Hand Sanitizers?

Kayon Abrams, who teaches hand hygiene workshops to children asked, "Is it safe for children to use hand sanitizers as there seems to be lots of different viewpoints."  This is a very good question and has been the subject of lots of toxicology research.  Barry Michaels, a regular blog contributor, microbiologist and expert in infectious disease provided a great article in response. 

Hopefully you enjoyed this quick look back and we all look forward to a continued hand hygiene revolution in 2015.  A special thanks to all our contributors and subscribers for helping to make hand hygiene so contagious!


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