Hospital acquired infection is inversely related to utilization of isopropyl alcohol and tissue paper pulls--a prospective observational study

J Assoc Physicians India. 2011 Sep;59:548-50.


Introduction: Healthcare associated infections not only cause morbidity and mortality, but also drain the resources in the hospitals across the globe. It has been shown repeatedly that practicing hand hygiene is a deterrent to hospital acquired infection. It is essential for the infection control committee and the hospital administrators to have a fair idea of the prevailing hand hygiene practice in the healthcare facility. This is commonly obtained direct observation, self-reporting by healthcare workers and indirect calculation based on hand hygiene disinfectant product usage.

Aims: This study was planned to assess the indirect surrogates of hand hygiene among healthcare workers in an Indian hospital.

Methods: We presumed that the tools used to perform hand hygiene, the alcoholic hand rub and the tissue paper towel may throw light on the prevailing hand hygiene practice. An analysis of the quantity of alcohol hand rub and the number of tissue paper towel usage against the incidence of hospital acquired infection was made.

Observation: The mean incidence of HAI during the period of study was 8.5 +/- 6.7 (range 2 to 27) per month. There was a decrease in the HAI rates with increasing of alcoholic hand rub and tissue paper towels. It was predicted using the regression graphs that if the quantity of alcoholic hand rub usage increased to 2620 Ltrs/ month, the HAI would be '0'. Similarly if 427,0000 tissue paper towel pulls were used, the HAI would be '0'.

Conclusion: Studying the incidence consumption of the quantity of tissue paper rolls and isopropyl alcohol may be used as a surrogate of hand hygiene practice among healthcare workers.

MeSH terms

  • 2-Propanol / administration & dosage
  • Anti-Infective Agents, Local / administration & dosage*
  • Cross Infection / epidemiology
  • Cross Infection / prevention & control*
  • Hand Disinfection*
  • Humans
  • India
  • Infectious Disease Transmission, Professional-to-Patient / prevention & control
  • Medical Staff, Hospital
  • Nursing Staff, Hospital
  • Observation / methods
  • Prospective Studies


  • Anti-Infective Agents, Local
  • 2-Propanol