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18.3: Effectiveness of Hand Washing

  • Page ID
    122770
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    There are 2 categories of microorganisms, or flora, normally found on the hands. Resident flora are the normal microbiota of the skin. Transient flora are the microorganisms you pick up from what you have been handling. It is routine practice to wash the hands prior to and after examining a patient and to do a complete regimented surgical scrub prior to going into the operating room. This is done in order to remove the potentially harmful transient flora, reduce the number of resident flora, and disinfect the skin.

    Actual sterilization of the hands is not possible since microorganisms live not only on the surface of the skin but also in deeper skin layers, in ducts of sweat glands, and around hair follicles. These normal microbiota are mainly nonpathogenic staphylococci (Lab 15) and diphtheroid bacilli.

    Contributors and Attributions

    • Dr. Gary Kaiser (COMMUNITY COLLEGE OF BALTIMORE COUNTY, CATONSVILLE CAMPUS)


    This page titled 18.3: Effectiveness of Hand Washing is shared under a not declared license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Gary Kaiser.

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