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Powdered Activated Charcoal Tracing in Hand Hygiene Training and Compliance Assessment During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Authors Feng G, Jun H, Elaine G, Haitao S

Received 8 December 2020

Accepted for publication 18 January 2021

Published 16 February 2021 Volume 2021:14 Pages 675—683

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/RMHP.S295551

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Marco Carotenuto


Guo Feng, Han Jun, Gitonga Elaine, Shen Haitao

Department of Emergency Medicine, Shengjing Hospital of China Medical University, Shenyang, 110004, People’s Republic of China

Correspondence: Shen Haitao Tel +86-24-96615-64113
Email pianzhang6@163.com

Objective: Because of the COVID-19 pandemic there has been a significant increase in the prevalence of nosocomial infections. As a result, we sought to find an effective, efficient and safe way to train healthcare workers on proper hand washing techniques. We used powdered activated carbon (PAC) as a tracer to visually display hand washing defects after the hand washing process. The real-time visual assessment of the efficacy of the hand washing technique aided in the immediate correction of errors, and this definitively improved hand hygiene techniques of the interns.
Methods: Clinical interns at the emergency department of Shengjing Hospital were included in this study and received training in relation to the six-step hand-washing technique developed by the World Health Organization (WHO). The subjects’ hand-washing defects or faults were traced using PAC and corrected accordingly. Acceptance of the PAC tracing method by the interns, and its safety, were both assessed using a questionnaire survey.
Results: The results indicated that the back of the hands, fingers, and the wrists were prone to hand-washing defects. The hand-washing defects were significantly reduced after targeted corrections by the trainers. Subjects reported satisfactory acceptance toward the PAC tracing method and the method was relatively safe for subjects.
Conclusion: The PAC tracing method can visually display hand-washing defects and significantly improve the effectiveness of hand-washing training.

Keywords: hand hygiene, COVID-19, infection control

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