Drunk on sanitation

At Dorset County Hospital, in the UK, alcohol based hand sanitizing gel is now banned at hospital entrances. The hospital’s Infection Prevention and Control Committee previously placed sanitizing gel at hospital entrances to promote hospital visitor hand hygiene. According to hospital staff, homeless people are now coming into the entrance and drinking the gel, which contains up to 70 percent alcohol.

A spokeswoman from the hospital said, “What we are trying to do is focus people on hand hygiene at the point of care so that they wash or gel their hands on entering wards or at the patient’s bedside.” She further implied the removal of the alcohol gel due to ingestion was only one of many health and safety reasons. The National Patient Safety Agency (NPSA) has advised hospitals to remove alcohol gel from hospital entrances.

Two persons have died from alcohol gel ingestion.