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Sanitizer: towelettes or gel?


jt1120

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We just got back from a 4-day on the Century and for the first time came across the wait staff handing out sanitizing towelettes instead of the goop dispensers that other lines have. Which do you prefer? I like the gel stuff better.

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We just got back from a 4-day on the Century and for the first time came across the wait staff handing out sanitizing towelettes instead of the goop dispensers that other lines have. Which do you prefer? I like the gel stuff better.

 

 

Gel is better as the towlettes make a mess and get left everywhere.

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They are both so necessary, just wish EVERYONE would use them. Don't care which one. I think more importantly there should always be a staff member nearby to ensure that everyone uses these dispensors everytime.

I am astounded at how many people make up lame excuses as to why they don't need to use the sanitizors. Do some really enjoy getting sick:rolleyes: don't think so.

 

Jillybean:)

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I always wash my hands frequently, and I still use the sanitizers while on a ship---towels or gel.

 

However, the more I read, the more I find out that these are not only ineffective, but also could be causing the resistance to certain germ and bacteria fighting.

 

I almost think this is a "feel good" touch as opposed to something that really works. In either case, I'll do my part so that I can safely say I wasn't the cause of some Noro outbreak on my cruise. :D

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They are both so necessary, just wish EVERYONE would use them. Don't care which one. I think more importantly there should always be a staff member nearby to ensure that everyone uses these dispensors everytime.

I am astounded at how many people make up lame excuses as to why they don't need to use the sanitizors. Do some really enjoy getting sick:rolleyes: don't think so.

 

Jillybean:)

 

You might be a litte too overconfident in these; some research has shown they do more harm than good. Not only are they significantly less effective than hand washing with soap and warm water, but most people don't use enough of the gel and/or do not rub enough for the gel to even be somewhat effective. The CDC is no longer recommending cruise ships to use the gels.

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We first encountered the wipes last year. I asked about them and was told that they switched to the wipes as they were found to be more effective. I tend to believe this as I'd find it hard to believe the wipes would be less expensive than the gel and that the ship wouldn't shift to a more expensive product unless they believed it worked better. It also seems to me that people are more inclined to use the wipes a little more effectively than the gel, and the best product is often the one people will use the most.

 

I've heard people on this board claim that everything the ships now do is not effective against noro. At the same time I've read of several cruises that had bad noro outbreaks that were stopped by effective measures taken my the crew and wiped out from one cruise to the next. We experienced a cruise on the Millennium last year that had no signs of norovirus despite the ship having major problems the second cruise before ours. So Celebrity, and presumably other lines, seems to have made progress in figuring out how to stop these outbreaks once they are brought on board.

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I used towelettes Feb 11 at the airports. When I got to the tram, I realized my 38 yr old diamond solitaire engagement ring was missing. Could not be sure which airport refuse it would be in. If your rings are even slightly loose fitting....take extra care to avoid this kind of loss.

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Some of you are missing the point. It is not which is better as they gel and wipes are complementary.

 

As someone said, start with soap and water. This will removed dirt, contaminants and germs.

 

As you move from the hand washing area you will touch door handles, lift buttons, hand rails etc. You now need a further sanitisation.

 

The gel will get into skin cracks and nails and santize but it will not remove anything. Any germs not sanitized will still be on your hands.

 

A sanitizing wipe may then transport these remaining germs from hand to bin. It is that last process that makes wipes alone superior to gel alone.

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If I'm seen bypassing the sanitizer on my way into the buffet or dining room, it is because I have just finished thoroughly washing my hands and have not touched a door handle, railing or elevator button en route from the sink. Very often, I just don't feel that the gel is enough, especially prior to eating.

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Gel is better as the towlettes make a mess and get left everywhere.

 

Not really, as they had small trash containers nearby, and most of the towelettes made it to the receptacles. Still, I like the globe goop thingy better myself.

 

BTW folks, this was meant to be a fun thread, so let's not get carried away. Goop or towelettes, at least they are showing "due caution." In other words, whether they are truly effective or not, if you get the dreaded noro and sail your last cruise, your family can't sue the cruise line.

 

Plus, the goop tastes great on corn flakes!

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Goop

 

Don't you just love the automatic Goop dispenser?

 

You siddle up to the dispenser, way your hand underneath, nothing happens and you move on.

 

GOOP and another great glob of goop hits the deck. You look back and see a small mound of goop as the contents is rapidly expelled and missing the profered hands.

 

We had two great staff on the Connie. One would seranade the passengers, especially young, pretty, and it goes without saying, female and the other could have been the Barber of Seville. He always had a huge beaming smile. A great team and you WANTED to stay and clean your hands.

 

On that cruise we made an unfortunate omission; on future cruises I shall ensure I note names so I can give credit where credit is due on the cruise critique. I hope more good credit than bad.

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I am a pediatrician and on our office, we have largely transitioned from handwashing to gel.

 

The most effective method is still washing your hands with warm water and soap. But here's the problem: Less than 5% or the people who wash their hands do it correctly or adequately.

 

1. Thoroughly rinse with warm water

2. Lather up with soap and warm water

3. Scrub vigorously for a minimum of twenty seconds

4. Rinse thoroughly

5. Use a paper towel to dry hands, turn off faucet and handle door.

 

In truth, adequate handwashing takes close to one minute. Doesn't sound like much, but doing before and after every patient encounter- for thirty to forty patients a day really adds up. (Plus the soap does a number on the hands).

 

So, yes, handwashing is better than the gel. But, in real world situations gel and towellettes have much more potential to limit the spread of infection. And while I am sure there are those amongst us who actually do properly wash their hands every time, they are undoubtedly in the small minority. Therefore, we do what is best for the masses.

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Just got off the Connie last week. Those globe dispensers, the ones that rarely worked, have all been replaced by Purell dispensers, which worked each and every time. For some reason, however, the formula is different than the one you purchase at the store. This stuff was much more "goopy" and slimy and didn't quickly evaporate as you rubbed you hands. A generous amount was dispensed. On the positive side, it certainly felt like you were getting a really good hand sanitizing, because it gave lots of coverage and your hands stayed wet and goopy for a good long minute or more!

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On our last cruise, while I was washing my hands in the lady's room closest to the buffet restaurant, I saw three women in a row come out of stalls, and head straight out the door without stopping to wash their hands! :eek:

My point is, goop or wipes, I certainly am thankful to see crewmembers making sure that people use them. Lord knows, not enough pax are using the soap & water in the bathrooms!

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I heard on the news that if you wash your hands with soap and water you should sing Happy Birthday (to yourself) two times through in order to get a good wash! Most people just put the soap into their palm and rub their hand a couple times and that's it. You may as well not wash them at all doing it that way. So people I want to hear Happy Birthday to me two times through!!!!

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I heard on the news that if you wash your hands with soap and water you should sing Happy Birthday (to yourself) two times through in order to get a good wash! Most people just put the soap into their palm and rub their hand a couple times and that's it. You may as well not wash them at all doing it that way. So people I want to hear Happy Birthday to me two times through!!!!

 

I actually do that, my son thinks I'm nuts...

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I think it's rather frightening that doctors, especially pediatricians, are forgoing hand washing over the gels because hand washing is difficult to do well. :eek:

 

First, if that is the sort of thing that "frightens" you, then you are very easily scared!;)

 

Second, I want to compliment you on a fantastic misinterpretation and misrepresentation of what I said!

 

I never once intimated that it was too "difficult", and I think your assertion is highly unfair and derogatory.

 

Ask any infectious disease specialist or public health expert and they will tell you the minimum amount of time- from start to finish for appropriate hand washing, is 45 seconds. And since you need warm water, that assumes, there is no wait for the water to warm up once you turn the faucet on.

 

If I see 40 patients a day, then those EIGHTY hand cleaning events will take a minimum of 60 minutes over the course of the day. It is very unrealistic to think anyone can keep up that pace.

 

So what is one to do? Well, I'll tell you what I do:

 

If I see a child with an injury, or in for a well child examination where there is not significant exposure to likely infection, then I use the gel.

 

If I see a child with signs consistent with a highly contagoius infection (major URI symtoms in the early stage, active gastrointestinal symptoms, a draining or infected wound, etc...) then I thoroughly and adequately wash my hands after the encounter. I still use the gell before hand.

 

Doing this has reduced the number of handwashing events per day from more than eighty to somewhere in the ten to twenty times a day range.

 

Doing so has also greatly reduced the incidence of exfoliative dermatitis of the hands, resulting in much less discomfort, and even a decrease in the infection potential that is brought on by cracked and damaged skin.

 

I will say however, your proclivity for spreading alarmist propaganda about a topic you clearly are not familiar with, is quite impressive! How's that hobby working out for you?:confused: :confused:

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I am in the Dental Field... another place where a lot of handwashing takes place.

I was also on a ship recently that had a BAD outbreak of Noro. Did I wash my hands a lot YES.. did I touch elevator buttons and handrails NO.

And I did use what my family called the *implants* (gels) evertime before and after I ate a meal.YES

Luckily... or preventatively, no one in our party came down with the Noro...and we were on a floor that had it horribly.

I do wonder though if you get a stronger immune system by being around viruses on a constant basis?

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I hardly feel I am being an alarmist. You can wiggle out of it if you please but I have read plenty that says the gels are, at best, a poor substitute for hand washing, and that they give a false sense of security.

 

Whether you are dealing with an infectious child or not, you are touching doorknobs, file folders, pens, chairs, exam tables, desks, prescription pads, etc., that have most likely been exposed to sick children and/or handled by you, a partner, a nurse who have been dealing with a sick child.

 

I might not be a doctor, but I am a midwife and I can tell you that I wash my hands between every patient....and for the most part I am not seeing anyone who is infectious or sick. I would hope my patients would appreciate that I only touch them with clean hands....or as clean as I can make them. Is it rough on my hands? Yes, I use a ton of lotions. And does it take time, of course, but I think it's well worth it.

 

You are more than happy to run your office the way you want, but for my part, I will be keeping my eyes open for proper hand washing from my own doctors.

 

I would like to see some research that says that less than perfect hand washing is less effective at taking viruses and bacteria off the hands than a quick rubbing of gel.

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I would like to see some research that says that less than perfect hand washing is less effective at taking viruses and bacteria off the hands than a quick rubbing of gel.

 

"The fact that an opinion has been widely held is no evidence whatever that it is not utterly absurd; indeed, in view of the silliness of the majority of mankind, a wide-spread belief is more likely to be foolish than sensible." - Bertrand Russell

 

 

A very brief review of the literature:

 

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11029132?dopt=Abstract

Article from the American Journal of infection control

CONCLUSION: Elementary school absenteeism due to infection is significantly reduced when an alcohol gel hand sanitizer is used in the classroom as part of a hand hygiene program.

 

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14608304?dopt=Abstract

Article from the American Journal of Infection Control

CONCLUSION: Hand-hygiene practices were improved with increased frequency of handwashing through increasing awareness of the importance of hand hygiene, and the use of alcohol gel hand sanitizer in university dormitories. This resulted in fewer upper respiratory-illness symptoms, lower illness rates, and lower absenteeism.

 

http://archpedi.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/abstract/159/4/377

From THe Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine

CONCLUSION: Infection rates and microbial counts on nurses’ hands were equivalent during handwashing and alcohol phases, and nurses’ skin condition was improved using alcohol

 

http://pt.wkhealth.com/pt/re/ijnp/abstract.00063413-200402000-00002.htm;jsessionid=HPwF3JLTV8tZRjp2PYHyNG28ldMWh90hFsgjsZkhtMWCd68Pr1yl!1253064403!181195628!8091!-1

From the International Journal of Nursing Practice- a systematic Review of the Literature

CONCLUSION: Results of this systematic review supported that alcohol-based hand rubbing removes microorganisms effectively, requires less time and irritates hands less often than does handwashing with soap or other antiseptic agents and water. Furthermore, the availability of bedside alcohol-based solutions increases compliance with hand hygiene among health care workers.

 

http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/content/abstract/115/4/852

From Pediatrics: The Journal or The American Academy of Pediatrics

CONCLUSION: In homes with young children enrolled in child care, illness transmission to family members occurs frequently. Alcohol-based hand gel use was associated with reduced respiratory illness transmission in the home.

 

And, my personal favorite

http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/rr5116a2.htm

Pay particular attention to the efficacy of alcohol based hand sanitizers against Gram Positive Bacteria, Gram Negative Bacteria, Mycobacteria, Fungi, and Viruses. Oh yeah, also check out speed of action.

 

 

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I think people may be confusing some things here. Antibacterial soaps and household cleaners have become very commonplace in recent years. These products have demonstrated little or no added benefit over regular soaps, and may in fact have some deleterious effects. Among them is promoting low level resistance to overused becteriostatic and beteriocidal agents in the soaps. Also, the belief that these "more potent" products work faster, resulting in substandard washing practices.

 

These products are distinctly different from alcohol based hand sanitizers, which are dispensed and/or applied with towelettes. As mentioned earlier, these products have been repeatedly been identified as safe and effective means of sanitization.

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I heard on the news that if you wash your hands with soap and water you should sing Happy Birthday (to yourself) two times through in order to get a good wash! Most people just put the soap into their palm and rub their hand a couple times and that's it. You may as well not wash them at all doing it that way. So people I want to hear Happy Birthday to me two times through!!!!

 

That was the answer to a trivia question on our cruise just last Saturday!

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