Top spots missed when healthcare workers use hand sanitizer

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More than half of healthcare workers commonly miss parts of their hands when applying hand sanitizer, a new study has found.

Researchers investigated 705 clinicians working in their regular shifts who used an alcohol-based hand sanitizer mixed with a fluorescent marker. Workers' hands were then viewed under a UV lamp to show where the hand sanitizer had been rubbed.

Results found that thumbs were the spot most often missed by sanitizer, with only 37.45% of clinicians completely covering the area. Fingertips and the back of hands rounded out the top three “missed” areas, with just 44.54% and 46.38% of the study subjects completely covering the area, respectively.

Researchers found that the areas in between fingers were reached more regularly, with 74.75% of clinicians covering the area with sanitizer. Palms ranked highest in sanitizer coverage, with 98.87%.

Results of the study were published in American Journal of Infection Control.