April 28, 2009 | | Comments 0
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Hand gel use may bump up with attention on swine flu

Hi folks, it’s Scott Wallask again. When you start thinking of potential swine flu outbreaks, it seems natural to consider your inventories of personal protective equipment, ventilators, and medical supplies. However, one substance I didn’t really think too much about in this regard until I read it in an Associated Press story this morning was alcohol-based hand gel.

Hand gel is probably becoming a hot commodity in hospitals during this time of uncertainty, given the CDC’s constant reminders in the last few days to keep your hands clean.

If you do find your facility bulking up on gel supplies, don’t forget about the limits set by the Life Safety Code, particularly that each smoke compartment may contain a maximum aggregate of 10 gal. of hand gel solution in dispensers and a maximum of 5 gal. in storage.

I distinctly remember George Mills, senior engineer at The Joint Commission, mentioning at a conference last year that life safety requirements do not get a pass during any kind of emergency response.


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Filed Under: CDC/infection controlLife Safety Code

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Scott Wallask About the Author: Scott Wallask is senior managing editor for HCPro's Hospital Safety Center (www.hospitalsafetycenter.com) and the award-winning newsletters, Briefings on Hospital Safety and Healthcare Life Safety Compliance. He has written about healthcare for HCPro since 1998, with a focus on occupational and building safety, emergency management, fire protection, and infection control. Prior to joining HCPro, he worked as a reporter for several newspapers in eastern Massachusetts. He holds a BA in print journalism, magna cum laude, from Northeastern University in Boston. Contact Scott at swallask@hcpro.com.

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