New Hospital Study: hand drying impacts bacterial dispersion

Multisite hospital study demonstrates hand drying method can affect risk of bacterial dissemination in real world settings. Findings have important implications for minimising risk of cross infection in hospital washrooms.

Multiple examples of significant differences in surface bacterial contamination, including faecal and antibiotic resistant bacteria, were detected in higher levels in Jet Air Dryers compared to Paper Towels washrooms.

This Jet Air Dryers hand hygiene method affects the risk of (airborne) dissemination of bacteria in real world settings.

This video illustrates the Multisite Hospital Study, which took place in 2018 in Leeds (UK), Paris (F), Udine (I).

It is strongly recommended to watch the entire video, to fully collect the conclusions of the experts who conducted the study.

Following you can read some quotes from the video:

Mark Wilcox, Leeds MD, Consultant Microbiologist:
“The story actually goes back to my own observations, when I was using a jet air dryer. We previously carried out a number of different experiments in laboratory settings, initially comparing different ways of drying your hands, to see whether those different methods were associated with different levels of distributiong bacteria contaminating the environment”
“What we wanted to do by doing this latest study was see if those laboratory based finfings were actually translated into real world practice”
“What we found was the very consistent message that bacterial contamination in the environment of the washrooms was higher in the washrooms when they were using jet air dryers to dry hands as opposed to when paper towels were being used”
“When we have done similar experimentsto look at the dispersing of droplets, we find that most of them hit the upper chest area, which, for a child, would be their face. … We even counted some some spots in a person waiting behind to use the jet air dryer next.”
“I think the takeaway message is that we’ve very clearly showed that Jet Air Dryers are associated with greater risk of transmission of bacteria in the washroom settings, and therefore I don’t think they are suitable at all for use in a hospital setting and it would be much more preferable to use Paper Towels, dispensed with appropriately, than using these Jet Air Dryiers.” 

Fredric Barbut, Paris, Professor of microbiology
“There was the need to compare different hand drying techniques to see if one was better and if it could prevent bacterial dispersion in the environment.”
“We found faecal bacteria, including enterobacteria in dust and on the floor more frequently in washroom with jet air dryers …”
“Measures have already been taken. Recently a Guide published by the French Hospital Hygiene Board on hand washing hygiene recommends not using Jet Air Dryers in healthcare settings precisely because of these higher levels of bacterial dispersal and propagation.

Silvio Brusaferro, Udine, Prof. Medical and Biological Science
“Drying one’s hands with a towel is a method which actually transfers the contamination to the towel itself and to the bin where the towel is dispensed”
“When drying one’s hands with Jet Air Dryers, the more powerful the air flow is, the greater the dispersion around the space where one’s hands are dried.”


Marc Van Ranst, Leuven, Virologist
“We did a study in three countries: England, France and Italy. We want to observe, in real hospital washrooms, what methods were best for drying one’s hands”
“I believe that eventually, and this will happen soon, the Jet Air Dryers will no longer be allowed in hospitals.”



Read the details and find the link to the study at this page: MULTISITE HOSPITAL STUDY

This video can be seen as well within the ETS Choices You Tube channel, where you can also see other interesting video on hands hygiene.



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