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Effects of 4 Hand-Drying Methods for Removing Bacteria From Washed Hands: A Randomized Trial

      Objective

      To evaluate the effects of 4 different drying methods to remove bacteria from washed hands.

      Subjects and Methods

      One hundred adult volunteers participated in this randomized prospective study. All bacterial counts were determined using a modified glove-juice sampling procedure. The difference was determined between the amounts of bacteria on hands artificially contaminated with the bacterium Micrococcus luteus before washing with a nonantibacterial soap and after drying by 4 different methods (cloth towels accessed by a rotary dispenser, paper towels from a stack on the hand-washing sink, warm forced air from a mechanical hand-activated dryer, and spontaneous room air evaporation). The results were analyzed using a nonparametric analysis (the Friedman test). By this method, changes in bacterial colonyforming unit values for each drying method were ranked for each subject.

      Results

      The results for 99 subjects were evaluable. No statistically significant differences were noted in the numbers of colony-forming units for each drying method (P = .72).

      Conclusion

      These data demonstrate no statistically significant differences in the efficiency of 4 different handdrying methods for removing bacteria from washed hands.
      CFU (colony-forming unit)
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