Thread: The lie about sterile injections
07-13-2003, 06:28 PM #1
The lie about sterile injections
Ok, I've got several friends in the medical field and we got to talking about injections. I mentioned that I'm always very careful (because they were obviously concerned) and that I use alchohol like it's my job.
WELL.... one of these cats is an MD, the others are EMT's....they ALL kinda chuckled and let me in on a secret which I hope you bro's can either validate or dismiss. Alchohol does NOTHING for sterilizing an injection spot. In order for alchohol to actually kill bacteria it requires 30-60 coverage (which is why medical instruments are soaked rather than just dipped).
The ONLY thing they recommended to use for cleaning was iodine (which is what is used in surgery rather than alchohol).
Thoughts? I hate to think I've been wasting my time rubbing alchohol on the vials, injection spots, etc when it really does nothing but smell up the bathroom!
07-13-2003, 06:32 PM #2
Then why does the Red Cross use alcohol wipes when you give blood?
07-13-2003, 06:36 PM #3
The doctor and EMTs also said they use alchohol wipes when doing injections for patients. They said this is for 2 reasons:
1: It makes the patient 'feel better' about it being sterile.
2: Iodine stains the skin and would be tough to deal with after injections.
Both seemed valid so I didn't think they were joking. But it was shocking none the less!
07-13-2003, 06:37 PM #4
This is absolultely untrue. I am a firemen and was trained in several types of medical attention along with injection procedure (also many of friends are EMT). My dad and mom are also doctor and they use alchol every time that they administer an injection. Now what i think your friends ment was that it isnt really necesary all the time because the odds of getting an infection from not swiping with alchol are low. 99 times out of hundred if you dont use alchol nothing will happen, but there is always that one time. Hope this helps claitify.
07-13-2003, 06:38 PM #5Member
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- Apr 2003
I got allergy injections for years and the doc would always clean the top with alcohol and my arm and then inject..then he would clean the injection again with alcohol...how about peroxide?
07-13-2003, 06:44 PM #6
Actually that iodine type stuff they use in surgery isnt iodine, I forget the chemical name but they were talking about it at AM.
07-13-2003, 06:45 PM #7
Sorry but what you guys are saying is only validating what they told me. They told me they DO use it. ALL doctors and nurses do. What they said though is that it does NOT do anything to kill bacteria. It may clean the injection spot (from dirt) but that's about it.
What I'm looking for is if someone can verify that a quick swipe of alchohol actually DOES kill bacteria. If it doesn't then there's really no point in using it at all, especially right out of the shower when the body is its cleanest.
07-13-2003, 06:49 PM #8
Lets say that you are right(hypothetically) Cleaning the dirt away from ones injection spot would also be very usefull in preventing infection at the injection. Is doctors washing there hands every time before they see a patient also usless. I think not. Yes all of this does add a level of comfort for the patient as well as cleanings the area dirt and other such items.
07-13-2003, 07:12 PM #9Originally Posted by Buschlightcan
07-13-2003, 07:21 PM #10Originally Posted by Slypknot
07-13-2003, 07:23 PM #11Originally Posted by Money Boss Hustla
True, unless it makes more sense to actually use something which kills bacteria - such as iodine... which is what I'm considering changing over to....
07-13-2003, 07:25 PM #12Originally Posted by Slypknot
07-13-2003, 07:28 PM #13Originally Posted by Slypknot
People have been using alcohol wipes for decades and no one has discovered any bacteria issues. I honestly think that you're over worrying.
07-13-2003, 07:33 PM #14Originally Posted by Money Boss Hustla
07-13-2003, 07:34 PM #15
i dont know about alcohol, but i know that hydrogen peroxide causes cells to explode, bacteria or any other type of cell. so if your really worried about it think about using h2o2
07-13-2003, 07:40 PM #16New Member
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bleach also kills just about all critters. there was a thread a long ways back where Pat Arnold talked about this. evidently alcohol swabs just move the bacteria around but a weak bleach solution will kill 99.9% of germs. i'm guessing thats bacteria and viruses/virii both.
this was in a thread on the topic of reusing needles.
07-13-2003, 07:44 PM #17
I have never been under the delusion that alcohol was killing the bacteris at my injection sites...just a nice cleanser. No since in injecting through dirt or oil on the skin. Right out of the shower I'd say not neccessary.
07-13-2003, 07:59 PM #18
My understanding is like the rest. Alcohol doesn't kill the bacteria but does move it from the site and cleans the area thus helping some. I have been doing injections (usually multiple a day) for twelve years and never had an infection so I am going to keep my routine the same.
07-13-2003, 08:07 PM #19
Alcohol kills bacteria.
Does it sterilize the injection site? Of course not, but it does lessen the bacteria count, would you rather have 10^6 bacteria where you are injecting or 10^3 ?
It's a safety precaution, not a fail-safe, and considering the minimal cost and effort involved it's stupid not to do it.
07-13-2003, 08:22 PM #20
Alcohol as a skin disinfectant
The goal prior to surgery is to rapidly kill bacteria at the site of the planned incision. Alcohols are well-suited for this. After application, their antibacterial effects result in falling bacterial counts that can last up to several hours.
The committee noted several sources that support the use of alcohol as a skin disinfectant:
Research has shown that a one-minute alcohol immersion or scrub is as effective as a four- to seven-minute scrub with Chlorhexidine or Iodophors.
An article by Cunliffe-Beamer cited in the Guide supports alcohol for rodent skin disinfection prior to surgery.
The World Health Organization has designated alcohol "the gold standard against which all other skin disinfectants should be measured.
back to Connection index
From AAALAC's perspective...
Using alcohol as a disinfectant
07-13-2003, 08:24 PM #21
07-14-2003, 12:20 AM #22
Alcohol kills bacteria on contact, but not fungi or protozoa. Iodine kills bacteria, fungi and protoza. How many of us have gotten cuts in dirt, mud, and have survived. The worry is not dirt, or normal bacteria that is around us, but nasty bugs like staph, strep, anerobes, etc. Where do we find these bugs? Hospitals and clinics, not at home. Also it would be more of a risk if the bacteria was on the needle were it would be transfered deepinto tissue. Very unlikely a needle can pick up a bug from the surface of the skin and be deposited in muscle. So chances are slim to none you will get an infection with no isopropl at home. More risk at the doctors office.
07-14-2003, 02:39 AM #23
All this talk about alcohol makes me wanna go clubbin. Whos comin with???
07-14-2003, 02:41 AM #24Junior Member
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- May 2003
Diabetics don’t use alcohol swaps when they inject themselves. Well the ones that I know don’t and I know three.
07-14-2003, 03:29 AM #25Originally Posted by 01dragonslayer
lol, so your saying that isopropyl alcohol isn't an antimicrobial agent? i can post you about 20 web sites that will prove that different...
07-14-2003, 03:33 AM #26
im down for clubbing, and RxArma...how the hell isn't a needle going to burry bacteria into the skin? if it can burry dirt/filth why the hell cant it burry billions of little critters that are billions of times smaller than the dirt and filth...?
07-14-2003, 07:06 AM #27
I've heard this before... i for one believe you don't have to swab... but i do it and will continue to do it so that i can at least move the bacteria away from where i'm injecting or lessen the amt of bacteria on my skin.
07-14-2003, 10:30 AM #28Originally Posted by djdjdjddjon
07-14-2003, 11:00 AM #29
Interesting discussion. I did a search on PubMed and came up with this. Source
Reduction of illness absenteeism in elementary schools using an alcohol-free instant hand sanitizer.
White CG, Shinder FS, Shinder AL, Dyer DL.
Los Alamitos Unified School District, Los Alamitos, CA, USA.
Hand washing is the most effective way to prevent the spread of communicable disease. The purpose of this double-blind, placebo-controlled study was to assess whether an alcohol-free, instant hand sanitizer containing surfactants, allantoin, and benzalkonium chloride could reduce illness absenteeism in a population of 769 elementary school children and serve as an effective alternative when regular soap and water hand washing was not readily available. Prior to the study, students were educated about proper hand washing technique, the importance of hand washing to prevent transmission of germs, and the relationship between germs and illnesses. Children in kindergarten through the 6th grade (ages 5-12) were assigned to the active or placebo hand-sanitizer product and instructed to use the product at scheduled times during the day and as needed after coughing or sneezing. Data on illness absenteeism were tracked. After 5 weeks, students using the active product were 33% less likely to have been absent because of illness when compared with the placebo group.
07-14-2003, 11:09 AM #30
None of you know what the hell you are saying. Just use isopropl and be done with it. The club is coming out.
QUOTE=PTbyJason]Interesting discussion. I did a search on PubMed and came up with this. Source
I know it's a little off topic, but it appears that surfactants, allantoin, and benzalkonium chloride is a better form of illiminating germs than alchohol.[/QUOTE]
07-14-2003, 08:38 PM #31
nevertheless, alcohols DO kill some degree of bacteria...bottom line...
07-14-2003, 10:04 PM #32
[QUOTE=rxarms] The worry is not dirt, or normal bacteria that is around us, but nasty bugs like staph, strep, anerobes, etc. Where do we find these bugs? Hospitals and clinics, not at home. QUOTE]
Actually staph is part of the normal skin fauna, and only poses a problem when it gets inside, e.g. injections, and most people carry around strep in their noses. Staph and strep are not just found in hospitals and clinics, they are growing all over you right now.
People come into the hospital with infections from self-administered injections all the time.
07-15-2003, 08:53 AM #33
This has really turned out to be a great discussion... I guess my buddies were kinda right in what they were telling me. I realize that using alchohol is important nonetheless, which is why I still do.... but I think of it like when ya make Fina - do you bake it or not? Some say yes, some say no... if alchohol doesn't really remove chances of infection, some say use it and some say don't... guess it's whatever lets ya sleep at night.
I think I'll pass on the iodine. I tried it the other day and WHAT A PAIN IN THE ASS it was to clean up...freak'n stained everything!
07-15-2003, 04:21 PM #34Originally Posted by Slypknot
I think it depends on what type of alcohol you're using.
In barber school they mentioned (it's on the state barber test, too) that to sanitize scissors and razors, ya gotta use either 99% isopropyl alcohol or 70-85% ethyl (grain) alcohol.
The stuff they sell in the drugstore is usually 70% isopropyl, so that won't do the trick. You could use everclear diluted with distilled water to 85%, or go to the hardware store and get a gallon of 99% IPA (around $12) and put it in a spray bottle, and just spray it on where you need it. That's your best bet.
Problem is, it'll take a bit of time to work completely . . . supposed to completely immerse stuff you're trying to clean up for 20 minutes or so. My guess is that a little bit of 85% ethyl (which, by the way, is 170 proof booze) or 99% IPA (which will do terrible things to you if you drink it, so don't even think about it) applied for 30 seconds isn't really going to do that much. I spray the 99% IPA and wait a minute because it's better than nothing.
07-15-2003, 05:02 PM #35
All i know is where I had knee surgry I got a whole bottle of Exidein-4 solution. It's what is used b4 prep and also what most surgry drs scrub their hands in. The solution consist of (Chlorhexidine Gluconate) :4% chlorhexidine Gluconate, 4% isopropyl Alcohol in a nonalkaline base, Exidine-4 solution provies rapid bactericidal action and has persistent antmicrobial effect against a wide range of microorganisms.
08-08-2005, 12:55 AM #36Associate Member
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Then why do they mix Benzyl Alcohol into in our AS vials ???????????????
08-08-2005, 01:11 AM #37Originally Posted by forsz
08-10-2005, 03:35 AM #38Associate Member
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Right. & what type of "stuff"?
08-10-2005, 03:38 AM #39Associate Member
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alcohol use with injections is considered asceptic technique more less. betadine id sterile technique
08-10-2005, 04:05 PM #40
Plus you need that alcohol prep pad to wipe the blood off once you pull the needle out anyway.
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