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Evaluation of Hand Hygiene in Groups of Students in Greece

Irene Mentziou, Costantinos Delezos, Dimitrios Krikidis, Aikaterini Nestoridou and George Boskou

Background: In universities, technical and vocational schools there are almost no barriers to prevent hand contamination. The public spaces are populated almost all the hours, and even if there is regular cleaning schedule there is not simultaneous cleaning of public spaces. The aim of the present study was the evaluation of the contamination on the hands of college students, as well as their habits concerning hand hygiene. Methods: This study was conducted on the hands of students at the establishments of Harokopio University (HUA) and the Technological Educational Institute of Athens (TEIA) in May 2011. Sterile swabs were used for together with a portable luminometer. Together with the swabbing the students had to fill in a questionnaire about their habits concerning hand hygiene. Selected hand contact surfaces were also swabbed such as door handles, desks, handrails, toilet tabs etc. Results: The figures recorded by the luminometer ranged between zero and 10,000 RLU with an average of circa 3,000 RLU. Handrails and desks were among the surfaces with high RLU, while door handles, sitting benches and toilet tabs had lower RLU. Conclusions: This study benchmarks the hand hygiene among college students.