I am a great fan of Suzy Cohen the Pharmacist and to read the story below gave me a new perspective on air borne pathogens! We have many areas that we enter and think our new found technology is great, well, here is one we missed. Watch out for Blood Borne pathogens in public places also, there can be blood markers on bed spreads in Hotels that you wouldn’t even think of. Most don’t change the bed spread between guests. I found blood on one in my Hotel room and realized I needed to ask for a new one at each arrival no matter where I was. I don’t know if there is Hepatitis B present in that blood. It stays on surfaces up to 2 weeks in some cases! GROSS! Oh, and for another tip, make sure you check out the fire exit sheet at your door and stay on floors 1,2 or 3 only. Take it from a fire fighter, they are easier to exit in an emergency.
Read on and enjoy
DON’T BLOW DRY YOUR HANDS!
By Suzy Cohen
We’re at the peak of the cold and flu season right now, and if you feel like you’re encircled by an army of hostile viruses, you are. I’ve been inundated with your emails about what you should do or take to prevent falling ill.
The single most important thing you can do to prevent colds and flu is to wash your hands well and often. Now, those of us in the healthcare professions were taught to use hot, soapy water and scrub for at least 15 seconds. That’s what you should do. But how should you dry your hands?
Never, ever use the blow dryers found in restrooms. Through the years several scientific studies have shown that drying one’s hands with a blow dryer as opposed to paper towels actually increases the number of germs on your hands. I know the studies were all done by counting bacteria rather than viruses, and fungus, but germs all hang together. Misery loves company as they say.
Studies in the past have shown a four-fold increase in the number on people’s hands after using a blow dryer. Shocking! One recent study, done in London in 2009, found that people who used a blow dryer to dry their hands had two to three times as many bacteria on their hands as they did before washing them. Not only that, many of the bacteria were pathogenic—that is, they were the kind of bacteria that can cause disease.
The key problem is that the vents and bottoms of dryers in public bathrooms get contaminated with regular use. The dryers are kept in a warm, moist place—precisely the kind of environment that bacteria, fungus and viruses need to thrive. The dryers never get hot enough to kill the germs, just warm enough to help them multiply. In fact, the studies also found that the warm air from dryers actually helps disperse the pathogens all around the room. I’m boycotting public restrooms this week, between the toilets flushing germs all over the place, and the hand dryers blowing, I think I’ll just hold it in.
Based on the science, it’s actually better to leave the restroom with wet hands than use the blow dryer. Carry your own paper towels or just shake your hands off. And if I don’t already sound too neurotic, don’t touch the door handle on the way out. Remember, that’s touched by all the people who didn’t bother to wash their hands after changing a tampon, going No. 2 or whatever. I’m banishing the thoughts from my head immediately.
Keep a small bottle of hand sanitizer in your purse or pocket. Resist touching your nose and mouth. And power up your immune system.
Take one of our Blood Borne Pathogens training class or link it up with your CPR/First Aid training
Stay safe and warm until next time!