Home Hygiene & Health
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Disinfection in the domestic area – what is really meaningful?

Routine use of disinfectants at home has to be rejected in general although advertisements often describe the domestic environment as a permanent source of infection and thus danger. In some situations, however, a targeted application mainly of a hand disinfectant may be useful. One example is the protection of persons which are highly susceptible to infection by permanent or transient immunosuppression, e.g. by chemotherapy, radiation therapy, HIV or after solid organ transplantation. More and more patients are discharged early from the hospital but still require professional care. Persons with invasive devices such as tracheostomy, vascular or urinary catheter also have a higher risk of infection. And there is an increasing number of elderly people with chronic wounds which need professional care at home. Care providers, but also relatives and visitors should perform a hand disinfection before direct contact with any of these devices, wounds or non-intact mucosa. In addition, the targeted disinfection may be useful in multi-person households when specific infectious diseases occur in order to prevent transmission to healthy persons. Before direct contact of an infected person to a healthy person as well as after direct contact of a healthy person with an infected person hand disinfection is indicated. Targeted surface disinfection should only be considered in exceptional cases if contamination of a surface is likely and contact of hands with the surface is conceivable. Safety aspects must be considered with the use of disinfectants in any setting and at any time.  The paper is available at HygMed 2011; 36 [1/2]: 8–11

Author: Kampf G, Dettenkoffer M

Published: 29/01/2011

Publication Type: Journal article