A cautionary taleBMJ 2006; 332 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.332.7552.1260 (Published 25 May 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;332:1260
- James Burge, senior house officer (firstname.lastname@example.org),
- Jane Sword, consultant elderly care physician
- Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Trust, Exeter
- Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Trust.
Hospital acquired infection has a nasty habit of striking just as the patient is getting better. This is never more apparent than on elderly care wards, where vulnerable patients often require a period of rehabilitation. During my four months as a senior house officer on an elderly care ward, I was particularly careful to clean my hands between patients, and to this end each bed was fitted with a bottle of alcohol gel. New arrivals on the ward could be forgiven for feeling surprised by each doctor's display of enthusiasm as he or she approaches with a smile and a vigorous rubbing of hands, and puzzled by the smell of alcohol not …