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» LymeNet Flash » Questions and Discussion » Medical Questions » What kind of soap do you wash hands with before injections or IV?

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Author Topic: What kind of soap do you wash hands with before injections or IV?
Hoosiers51
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So I've done a little bit of online searching on this.

Apparently sometimes you need "antibacterial" hand soap, and other times you don't. What I read made it sound like just regular (non-antibacterial) liquid hand soap was okay to use even before infusing someone with IV's at home.

But if you are a nurse putting in a PICC, etc, you use anti-bac soap in that case.

I am NOT on IV's....I was just kind of wondering what the IV people do, because I figured that might be the best bet for when we do my Bicillin shots, since sometimes the needle will accidentally hit capillaries.

Currently we are using a Dial antibacterial hand soap before the Bicillin, but I would like to use regular liquid hand soap if possible, because I do not like using Triclosan (which is what's in the anti-bac soaps), since it breaks down into compounds that are potentially carcinogenic.

I avoid triclosan in all other areas, but with doing Bicillin shots and B12 shots I make an exception because I'm paranoid about getting germs into my body.

But then I remembered a long time ago when I did IV's at home, the nurse gave my mom a soap to wash her hands with, that was not antibacterial. So I'm thinking perhaps hand-washing with normal soap is sufficient for what I'm doing?

I'm paranoid about germs before injections, but I'm also very scared of triclosan, so I deep down would love to just use liquid soap from the health food store. Anyone know what's okay to do?

Thank you!!!!

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Erica741
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Hoosiers, Are you using Bicillin LA with the pre-filled syringes? That is the Bicillin I used, and I don't understand how you could prick your hand on the needle?...

You could wash your hands with regular hand soap and then put on latex gloves. That would be super sanitary and help protect your hands from any needle pricks.

I'm doing IV but don't even wash my hands before infusing (is that bad?). I'm diligent about running the alcohol swabs over the opening of my PICC line, which is sort of the equivalent of swabbing the buttocks prior to the Bicillin injection. I thought that was enough?

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Hoosiers51
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Thanks for responding.

I am not worried about pricking myself with the needle, or touching it with my hands....I just thought we were supposed to have clean hands before doing any of this stuff.

I am pretty sure with IV you are supposed to wash your hands first. I don't exactly know why, other than maybe in case part of your hand touches the PICC opening accidentally, or with the Bicillin, in case your hand touches the skin accidentally after swabbing the area?

Or maybe it is because bacteria can travel through the air? Not sure.

I use the pre-filled Bicillin syringes.

Maybe I'm just worrying about it too much, and the normal soap is fine!

But I do believe the hand-washing is one of the "steps" for doing a home infusion with the IV's, so I just assume it would be for Bicillin too, even though the risk is much lower, since you only hit a vein in that case if you do something wrong.

Hopefully someone else will enlighten us.

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Connieaag
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Our home nurse just uses whatever liquid soap is in our bathroom before changing the dressing, drawing blood, etc. We use that too, and then I use a hand sanitizer that is alcohol free since my daughter is on Tindamax as well. Found it at Walmart. The nurse always wears gloves, and so do we. We automatically got them in our shipment of Rocephin. That might be your best bet.
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n.northernlights
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Bacteriae can fall through the air from unclean hands, hair or anything.
Therefore it is important to have washed hands, to reduce the bacteria load.
Also, the room should have a closed window and the air should have had time to stand still for a while so that dust (germs travel on dust) can settle to the floor and stay there.

Of course only liquid soap that comes in its container (not a gallon container to fill up dispensers) is okay, not soap bars.

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keltyl
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I think washing your hands well b/f any injections or infusing is very important. I always dry with a paper towel and use it to shut the faucet off too. I am on IV, and always alcohol wipe all parts b/f using. Sometimes I use hand sanitizer in between. I was taught this way by the home health nurse, although some of them are not that cautious, and I have mentioned it to them .

The last thing I need is an infection in my picc. They also use a mask while changing my dressing.

When I got bicillin shots, she just washed her hands (with what, I don't know), and used an alcohol wipe at the site.

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JR
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What about using hand sanatizer? then you don't even have to worry about drying your hands on something contaminated.

Sounds to me that if you are paranoid about getting germs in your body you should do what makes YOU feel the most comfortable.

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sammy
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Hoos, I think that your question is important. I'm super cautious and also use antibacterial hand soap before any procedure (used to be on Bicillin, now on IV).

If you are more comfortable using regular liquid hand soap, that should be fine as long as you wash your hands thoroughly. Use warm water, scrub your hands together, and sing the "happy birthday" song. Remember to apply friction to clean all surfaces of the hands. That is the most important part, you want to physically dislodge and wash away the germs.

I too have read much about antibacterial vs regular liquid soaps. For general home use, antibacterial soaps are probably unnecessary if hands are washed properly. That being said, most people don't wash their hands thoroughly or long enough to do any good. (It is horrifying to watch people in public restrooms!)

When dealing with my PICC line, I am extra cautious and prefer to use antibacterial soap. As someone else mentioned earlier, I also use paper towels to dry my hands and turn off the faucets. Then I apply an alcohol based hand sanitizer like Purell.

I guess when it comes to procedures, I'd rather be safe than sorry.

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Hoosiers51
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Thank you for the insight, everyone.

I do use paper towels to dry my hands, and I use my forearms to turn off the water in the sink.

I think I will ask my LLMD just to be sure, but I may switch over to regular liquid soap, and just use good handwashing procedures....instead of using the antibacterial soap.

I am just at a point where I am trying to avoid triclosan (in antibacterial soaps) and I'm also trying to avoid artificial fragrances, because for some reason they bother me.


JR,

I took a food sanitation class that people who are training to manage or own a restaurant take, and we learned that hand sanitizers do not replace regular hand washing, because like sammy said, you need something to physically wash away dirt/germs, not just "sanitize."

So hand washing is considered superior to hand sanitizers, and if someone was handling raw chicken, for example, they should not just use a hand santizer like Purell and think that is sufficient.

That's the other thing (and don't quote me on this), but I am pretty sure that we learned in that class (for food prep purposes, working with raw meat) that regular liquid soap was good enough. But I am hoping I'm not remembering wrongly.

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Tracy9
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I dunno, I never even wash my hands.

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