Alcoholic hand gels removed from hospitals after patients get drunk

  1. In Britain, patients are getting drunk on alcohol based hand gel used by nurses and doctors to sterilize their hands.

    The cleanser, which has been in the NHS for more than four years and is used to tackle hospital-acquired infections such as MRSA, contains 75 per cent proof alcohol, nearly twice the strength of whisky.

    Last year reports suggested patients were stealing the £10-a-litre gel and mixing it with orange juice or cola to create powerful cocktails.
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/he...get-drunk.html
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  2. 41 Comments

  3. by   snapper1960
    Where there's a will, there's a way!
  4. by   oramar
    In the US this would lead to a lawsuit by the patients family. They would blame the hospital, nurses and doctors for their family members self destructive behavior.
  5. by   dawngloves
    What kind of ward is this that the pts are 1. Well enough to think of this and carry it out 2. Desperate enough to drink something that may kill them ? Do they lock up all the alcohol swabs, too? Can they have mouthwash and shampoo?
  6. by   snapper1960
    Probably psychiatric unit. I worked (for 2 shifts!) on an adolescent psych unit, and no, they were not allowed to have anything with alcohol in it. We had to hand them an alcohol pad to swab their piercings, then be sure they returned it. Obviously, addicts/alcoholics are extremely crafty at procurement, particularly when they are in treatment involuntarily.
  7. by   ghillbert
    I actually saw a warning about this on my hospital newsletter. Apparently a couple of patients in the US were caught drinking from the hallway dispenser. They are changing the formula.
  8. by   missjennmb
    thats just really gross...as much damage as it does to my hands I can only imagine what it does to someone's insides...
  9. by   Vito Andolini
    Quote from dawngloves
    What kind of ward is this that the pts are 1. Well enough to think of this and carry it out 2. Desperate enough to drink something that may kill them ? Do they lock up all the alcohol swabs, too? Can they have mouthwash and shampoo?

    This is called addiction.
  10. by   nursesail
    This is ridiculous! These guys will always find some way to get a hold of ETOH. Alcohol doesn't kill staph anyway. I did a C&S on staph and alcohol in micro and the staph grew like crazy.
  11. by   Aneroo
    Yuck. I've had students ask me for bottles of hand sanitzer (I had some I gave to staff). I didn't give it out for this very reason.
  12. by   ayla2004
    Driniking of alco gel has been reported to occur on gastro wards as this is were alcolhloics are detoxed. on thses wards wall mounted on toggles are perferd to bedside bottles
  13. by   RochesterRN-BSN
    Where I have worked in psych and medicine they took away the mouthwash r/t
    the alcohol content and in psych they have taken all the soap and hand gel dispensers from the hall ways and for staff they are in locked areas where staff only are allowed. Even though the soap had no alcohol someone who is actively suicidal they could drink it.
    The problem is that alcoholics when in the hospital may not be on a psych unit....people suffering from alcoholism also get sick medically, have surgery, hell even have babies....so they can be found anywhere...actually those are the areas where ETOH withdrawal can very often be missed and this can kill a patient. If you have someone who drinks 3-4 beers every single evening and has for quite some time then suddenly they are hurt or get sick and endup getting admitted and they are at risk for withdrawal--even 3 days into an admit.....so the issue is not one that just psych units (though obviously they are hiest risk) need to be aware of........this is why a history is important and if a patient is a drinker...monitor for withdrawal and put on "watch by the hand gel dispensers" precautions!!! LOL
  14. by   ayla2004
    i've been told we are to start using a risk assesment for alcohol consumption.

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