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Emergency Care Providers Have Poor Hand Hygiene: Survey

Only 13 percent of emergency medical personnel say they clean their hands before touching patients, according to a survey of nearly 1,500 emergency care providers.

It also found that only 52 percent of the respondents — which included first responders, emergency medical providers, paramedics and doctors — said that they wear gloves for every patient contact, CBS News reported.

Only one-third of emergency medical providers said they cleaned their hands after performing invasive procedures, according to the findings presented in October at the American College of Emergency Physicians annual meeting.

“What we found was a little concerning,” Dr. Josh Bucher, a resident at Robert Wood Johnson Hospital and one of the study’s authors, told CBS News.

Good hand hygiene by health care providers is crucial in reducing the risk of transmitting germs to patients, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says.

In the United States, about one in every 20 hospital patients develops a health care-related infection each year. Such infections can lead to death, CBS News reported.

Last Updated: Nov. 13, 2013