back to article 'Breathalyser for the hands' fights hospital superbugs

Medics in Florida are trying out a so-called "breathalyser for the hands" system which sounds the alarm if they try to approach a patient without having washed recently enough. The HyGreen technology is intended to block the spread of so-called "superbugs", commonly found in hospitals. According to Dr Lennox Archibald, a prof …


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  1. Martin H Watson

    Can we see these...

    ...built in to mice and keyboards?

  2. Rob Eastwood
    Thumb Down

    @ Martin H Watson

    Many hospitals already have flat-surface wipeable keyboards, which detect when they need cleaning.

    Unfortunately though, it seems to be common practice just to moisten the sensor so they think they have been cleaned.... Nice one NHS. Oh, and the keyboards are massively expensive as well!

  3. Christopher Ahrens Silver badge

    More crap for the Docs

    the doctors are already too busy keeping up with every new drug being pumped out for non-issues (restless legs syndrome anyone?), keeping up with the latest media-induced health scare (remeber how we all died when SARS hit?). And now they will be plagued with another procedure that will crank up their mal-practice issurance payments if they forget once, doesn't matter if they are the worlds greatest doctors.

    And now another needlessly expensive piece of equipment that must be bought by every hospital, which is already under-funded...

    I have sympathy for our doctors over here in the State (real doctors, not the goddamn 'cosmetic surgeons') who have to put up with paying for 8+ years of Medical school, long hours, stress of the ER, and hving to put up with public's opinion of what a doctor should be (Inteliigence of House while having the greates bedside manner ever) and then there is the crap pay if you work for a hospital of massive issurance payments if you have your own practice.

  4. Mad Hacker
    Thumb Down

    I'd expect this of a McDonalds worker perhaps

    "It's just not inherent in people's behavior to wash their hands, for some reason."

    Oh really? I would expect that it would be the behavior of a medical professional. I can see why someone making minimum wage of McDonalds or Taco Bell might not have this in their behavior, but I think it's pretty normal for a medical professional to have this behavior. My doctors always was between every patient. I would notice if they didn't, as I wouldn't want them touching me otherwise.

    Sounds like it wouldn't help anyone who was responsibly doing their job.

  5. steogede

    Interesting name

    Interesting name, although it probably works on similar principles to a breathalyser as it probably detects the alcohol from the hand gel. I'm not sure many doctors will like the suggestion that their skin is breathing out alchol. However I imagine that some of them probably do drink so much that it starts coming out of their pores. Of course those who don't drink so much will probably get by if they just blow at the machine.

    Mines the white one with a hip flask and half drunk bottle of hand gel in each pocket.

  6. Anonymous Coward

    I'm in the wrong job

    I'm OCD-ish and wash my hands FAR too much...! :-D

  7. Charles Silver badge

    @Mad Hacker

    Even trained professionals can slip up. Long shifts, stressed schedules, life-altering experiences, or other things can cause even the most seasoned professionals to forget things or go into a brief fit of absent-mindedness. Problem is, when it comes to superbugs, they only need to be lucky ONCE. And a normally-vigilant-but-tired doctor or nurse would probably appreciate the gentle vibration and subtle reminder that they forgot to make that trip to the sink. Much better that than getting the finger pointed at you for patient complications (and all the flak that entails--short and long-term).

  8. John Smith Gold badge

    "2 million infections a year"

    OMG. The NHS can only *dream* of such a low number.

    Mind you seems to help cull hte more coffin dodging sections of the population.

  9. Andy Worth

    @Christopher Ahrens

    Try living with restless legs syndrome and then call it a non-issue. It feel somewhat like something is crawling around inside your leg(s) and the only way you can stop it is by moving your leg. This reoccurs after just a few seconds of being motionless again.

    When you lose a couple of hours sleep every night for weeks on end, it's anything but a non-issue.....

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