Nurses sick from scrubbing their hands

Nurses sick from scrubbing their hands

NURSES are getting serious skin problems from washing their hands too hard.

Health chiefs admit the war on killer superbugs has had unintended ­consequences, with staff put on restricted duties after contracting the disease dermatitis.

Nurses are told to wash their hands and use special gels to stop the spread of bacteria such as MRSA and C. diff.

And while the measures are paying off – there were fewer than 100 hospital infections in June – they are causing many medical workers a lot of pain.

The Royal College of Nursing is so alarmed that it is drawing up nationwide guidance on the issue, with the report due to be published next year.

Dermatitis could limit the careers of some staff and Heidi May, of the Highland health board, said it is “a big problem” at units such as Inverness’s Raigmore Hospital.

RCN officer Ros Derham called for urgent action to tackle it. She said: “It is the duty of employers to look after their staff. If nurses can’t wash their hands, they can’t do clinical work.

“It is in the interests of bosses to adopt measures to detect the early warning signs of this condition and to prevent it.”

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Nurses sick from scrubbing their hands

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