Neonatal ethanol exposure from ethanol-based hand sanitisers in isolettes

    loading  Checking for direct PDF access through Ovid



The aims of this study is to measure the ethanol vapours in the isolette after use of hands cleaned with ethanol-based hand sanitiser (EBHS).


Two squirts (1.5 mL) of hand sanitiser were rubbed on hands for 10 or 20 s before inserting the hands in the isolette for 5 min. Ethanol vapours were measured in the isolette with photoionisation detector and alcohol breathalyser for 30 min.


Peak ethanol concentration in the isolette was considerably higher with a 10 s hand rub (381±192 ppm) compared with a 20 s hand rub (99±50 ppm), and dissipated to ≤5 ppm within 30 min. Under routine care, EBHS use by care providers exposes neonates in isolettes to 3.7–7.3 or 1.4–2.8 mg/kg ethanol per day with 10 or 20 s hand rubs, respectively. The expected blood level from average single exposure is 0.036 mg/dL with 10 s hand rub and may increase further with multiple exposures in a short period.


Preterm neonates in the isolette are at risk of inadvertent exposure to ethanol. The expected blood alcohol level from this exposure is small and below 1 mg/dL level recommended by European Medicines Agency to limit the ethanol exposure in children. The unintended ethanol exposure can be avoided by rubbing hands for at least 20 s after applying EBHS.

Related Topics

    loading  Loading Related Articles