Articles contained in this month’s issue collectively address our current hand hygiene practices as anesthesiologists in the operating room (OR). Unlike the more even-tempered pacing of a hospital pharmacy or medical ward where hand hygiene may be utilized as an integrated action during routine activity, the OR setting is of a comparatively accelerated pace and demands acute response times. Investigators have addressed important questions as to whether optimal hand hygiene (as of yet, ill-defined but guided by the World Health Organization [WHO]) is compatible with such an environment. Their findings are summarized in this infographic, although the reader is strongly encouraged to review their reports in detail for a full scope of understanding.
1. Riutort KT, Brull SJ, Prielipp RC. Hand hygiene and relearning lessons from the past. Anesth Analg. 2019;129:14461449.
2. Birnbach DJ, McKenty NT, Rosen LF, Arheart KL, Everett-Thomas R, Lindsey SF. Does adherence to World Health Organization hand hygiene protocols in the operating room have the potential to produce irritant contact dermatitis in anesthesia providers? Anesth Analg. 2019;129:e182e184.
3. Birnbach DJ, Thiesen TC, McKenty NT, et al. The targeted use of alcohol-based hand rub on gloves during task dense periods: one step closer to pathogen containment by anesthesia providers in the operating room. Anesth Analg. 2019;129:15571560.
4. Segal S, Harris HM, Gunawan A, Schumann R. A simple method for estimating hand hygiene use among anesthesia personnel: development, validation, and use in a quality improvement project. Anesth Analg. 2019;129:15491556.