ATLANTA — Consumers aren’t quite clear about effective protection against germs, bacteria and viruses, according to a survey commissioned by Mölnlycke Health Care, the maker of Hibiclens antiseptic skin cleanser.
The average person comes into contact with 300 surfaces every 30 minutes, potentially contacting 840,000 germs during normal, non-flu season times, Mölnlycke said. Hand washing is cited as one of the chief self-care actions to kill germs and prevent infection.
Yet Mölnlycke’s poll revealed misperceptions about hand washing. Eighty-six percent of respondents believed they should wash their hands for at least 60 seconds. However, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), only 20 seconds is needed for hand washing to be effective.
The survey results also found that infection was a top post-surgery concern among respondents having surgery or caring for recovering patients (69%), while one in three, who have actually had surgery, didn’t realize they could use antibacterial soap for hand washing and general skin cleansing to kill germs that potentially cause infections before surgery or afterward at home.
With the rise in outpatient surgeries at the end of the year and shorter hospital stays, patients are heading home during the critical days after surgery, Mölnlycke noted. Recommended by physicians for pre- and post- operative care, Hibiclens antibacterial soap can be used in health care and home settings to provide effective protection against the spread of germs, the company said.
“Clean hands and strictly following pre- and post-surgery infection-prevention routines are essential to stopping germs from spreading, especially when you are caring for a recovering patient,” stated Janet Carter Smith, vice president of retail at Mölnlycke Health Care. “We know more people are having to deliver their own at-home, post-operative care, and we want to be a part of their infection prevention plan.”
Found in the first aid aisle, Hibiclens has earned the No. 1 Pharmacist Recommended Antibacterial Soap seal and status from Pharmacy Times and U.S. News & World Report for a third straight year, Mölnlycke said.
“Many pharmacists recommend an extra layer of protection by using antibacterial soap when hand washing. This is especially critical for patients and their caregivers after surgery to help kill harmful bacteria and germs, including staph and MRSA, two leading bacteria that can cause surgical site infections,” explained Pamala Marquess, East Marietta Drugs store owner in Atlanta.
“In addition to being FDA-approved, Hibiclens is unique compared to soap because it kills germs on contact and has 4% CHG [chlorhexidine gluconate], an active ingredient that bonds with the skin and continues to kill microorganisms even after washing,” Marquess aded. “It’s strong and effective enough to kill germs like staph and MRSA, yet safe and gentle enough for everyday use by the entire family. And it can protect you from germs for up to 24 hours.”