Mercy lab testing elevates hand sanitizer's use
July 22, 2011
Springfield, MO - St John’s Medical Research Institute (SJMRI) Trauma and Burn Division reported data this week detailing the results of laboratory trials testing the killing power of a novel skin and wound cleanser/topical antiseptic against pathogenic bacteria and fungi cultured from patients cared for at St John’s Hospital. It originally was designed to serve as a skin and hand sanitizer that provided broad spectrum coverage even against contamination that occurred hours after it was used.

The drug solution was released to the public as an FDA registered skin sanitizer/topical antiseptic and skin protectant in August of 2010. It is currently manufactured in Missouri and marketed by an Atlanta based company, PromoHealth, under the trade name, "Hands First."

The organisms tested included known resistant strains of methicillin resistant staphylococcus (MRSA), vancomycin resistant enterococcus (VRE), E. coli and the opportunistic fungus identified in victims of the May 2011 Joplin, Missouri tornado.

The study, designed and carried out by SJMRI senior scientist Dr. Phillip Finley, research assistant Adam Peterson and medical director Dr. Roger Huckfeldt, examined 47 different strains of organisms cultured from wounds in hospitalized patients during the first half of June 2011. The organisms included 42 strains of pathogenic bacteria and five strains of fungi. Bacterial time assay studies showed a greater than 99.9% kill in all samples with many as high as 99.99999%. Specialized fungal testing confirmed consistent kill rates in all strains of fungi tested.

“This testing is very exciting as we examine the success of this topical antiseptic against organisms currently causing wound infections, especially when many organisms are developing the ability to protect themselves by progressive patterns of resistance and bio-film creation,” Finley said.

“We noted how skin friendly the solution was to intact and broken skin and decided to study its effect when used in clinically significant wounds. Developing a wound care product that combines cleansing action and broad spectrum antisepsis without causing pain or injuring tissue is really an important aspect of wound care,” Huckfeldt further commented.

Plans are underway to further evaluate the solutions direct interaction with bio-films, early use of the solution in traumatic wounds as well as appropriate uses in the animal care arena.

St. John's Medical Research Institute, part of Sisters of Mercy Health System (Mercy), is a non-profit focused on advancing practical solutions to work-a-day challenges in health care delivery and disease prevention.

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