Artificial Nails And Nail Polish In The Healthcare Setting


I have a colleague who still wears artificial nails at work. What’s the latest proof about putting on artificial nails and nail Polish in the health care environment? Your query is timely in light of lots of ongoing initiatives to decrease healthcare-associated infections (HCAIs). Studies have noted that subungual areas of the hands harbor high concentrations of bacteria, most frequently coagulase-negative staphylococci, gram-negative rods (including Pseudomonas), Corynebacterium, and yeasts. Freshly applied nail Polish does not increase the true number of bacteria recovered from periungual skin but chipped toenail Polish might support the growth of bigger amounts of organisms on fingernails.

Even after careful hands washing or the utilization of medical scrubs or hand rubs, employees harbor significant amounts of potential pathogens in the subungual spaces often. Whether artificial nails contribute to transmission of healthcare-associated infections is unknown. However, people who wear artificial nails are more likely to harbor gram-negative pathogens on their fingertips than are those who have natural fingernails, both before and after hands washing. The result of the amount of natural or artificial fingernails on infection risk is also unidentified, because nearly all bacterial development occurs along the proximal 1 mm of the nail adjacent to subungual epidermis.

An outbreak of P aeruginosa in a neonatal extensive care device was attributed to 2 nurses (one with long natural fingernails and one with long artificial fingernails) who carried the implicated strains of Pseudomonas on the hands. The infected neonatal patients were significantly much more likely than controls to have been looked after by the two 2 nurses through the exposure period, indicating that colonization of long or artificial nails with Pseudomonas may have contributed to leading to the outbreak.

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Personnel putting on artificial nails likewise have been epidemiologically associated with several other outbreaks of infections triggered by gram-negative bacilli and fungus. These studies provide proof that wearing artificial fingernails may increase the likelihood that harmful bacteria may be transmitted to patients, posing an infection-control risk. Nail fungus consists of tiny microorganisms (Tinea unguium) that can infect fingernails and toenails. A lot more than 35 million people in the United States are contaminated with this fungus infection.

The fungi live within the nail. The toe nail offers a safe place for the fungi and defends it, although it grows, because fungi prosper in moist and dark places. This is why it’s hard to take care of nail fungus. Both toenail Polish and plastic or acrylic fingernails can capture wetness and fungi. One of the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organization’s (JCAHO) 2007 National Patient Safety Goals (NPSG) revisits the importance of hand hygiene and artificial nails. Goal 7 Reduce the risk of health care-associated contamination.

7A Comply with current Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) hand hygiene guidelines. 7B Manage as sentinel occasions all identified instances of unanticipated loss of life or major permanent loss of function associated with a health-care-associated disease. For goals 7, the JCAHO records that avoiding the putting on of artificial fingernails is a Category IA CDC recommendation and is necessary for those individuals providing treatment to patients at risk of acquiring attacks. And, when you did not ask about nail length, the CDC has a Category II suggestion that natural fingernails are significantly less than a quarter inches long when caring for patients at risk of acquiring an infection.

Fingernails should be kept brief, clean, and healthy. A single-use nail cleaner should be utilized under running drinking water to completely clean the debris from the subungual area, which harbors the most microorganisms on the tactile hands. Long fingernails may pose a hazard to patient safety when moving or positioning the patient. Long fingernails require extra effort when cleaning subungual areas.

When fingernails are long, gloves might tear, presenting a risk to both nurse and the patient. If used, nail Polish ought never to be chipped. Studies have exhibited that chipped toenail Polish might support the development of organisms on the fingernails. Compromises in hand hygiene technique may then lead to transmission of infection. If nail Polish is worn, it ought not to be worn for further than 4 days. At the final end of 4 days, nail Polish should be removed and reapplied newly. Artificial nails should NOT be worn.

Numerous studies validate the increased number of bacteria cultured from the fingertips of people wearing artificial nails, both before and after hand washing. Condition Planks of Cosmetology report that fungal growth occurs more under artificial nails frequently. Even the World Health Organization guidelines readily available hygiene declare that wearing artificial acrylic nails can donate to hands remaining contaminated with pathogens after use of soap or alcohol-based hand gels.