For their study, Deshpande and colleagues compared the immediate and persistent activity of Avagard (3M), which contains ethanol plus CHG, and Purell Advanced Foam (Gojo), which contains ethanol only. The researchers randomly assigned 51 health care workers to apply either product while working in an ICU at a large teaching hospital. After a 3-day washout period, the participants tested the alternative product. The researchers determined the products’ efficacy by measuring the amount of aerobic colony-forming units (CFUs) on hand prints that were obtained immediately after participants applied the hand sanitizer and again after spending 4 to 7 minutes in ICU common areas.
The data showed that ethanol plus CHG was associated with significantly lower aerobic bacterial counts immediately after use (0.27 ± 0.05 log CFU vs. 0.88 ± 0.08 log CFU; P = 0.035) and several minutes later (1.87 ± 0.07 log CFU vs. 2.17 ± 0.05 log CFU; P < .0001) compared with ethanol alone. No antibiotic-resistant organisms were found immediately after sanitizer use. However, after spending time in the ICU common areas, one MRSA isolate and two fluoroquinolone-resistant gram-negative bacteria isolates were identified in the ethanol plus CHG group, and five MRSA isolates and three fluoroquinolone-resistant gram-negative bacteria isolates were identified in the ethanol-only group.