Choice

Complexity wins

BMJ 2002; 325 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.325.7360.0/h (Published 17 August 2002) Cite this as: BMJ 2002;325:h

In an increasingly complicated world, it's good to be reminded that some solutions are simple.

Handwashing, for example, is a good way of preventing infection in hospital—but it's difficult to get people to do it. Handrubbing with a waterless alcohol based antiseptic seems a good way of increasing compliance (it doesn't need sinks and your hands don't get wet), but there's a lack of confidence in its efficacy. The randomised trial by Emmanuelle Girou and colleagues (p 362) should change that. They compared handrubbing with an alcohol based solution and handwashing with soap among nurses in intensive care units. …

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