Deterring hospital patients from ‘drinking’ from hand sanitizers – Dr. Weiner’s solution

Aside from causing the occasional fire, alcohol-based hand santizers in hospitals have another problem. They’re a handy ‘non-beverage’ source of (jellified) alcohol for those patients who crave intoxication. There are several published formal investigations on the subject – see, for example :

Consumption of alcohol-based hand sanitisers by hospital inpatients The Medical journal of Australia – 2011

Intoxication of a hospitalized patient with an isopropanol-based hand sanitizer N Engl J Med – 2007

Intentional ingestion of ethanol-based hand sanitizer by a hospitalized patient with alcoholism Mayo Clin Proc – 2007

What can be done? Scott G. Weiner, MD, MPH, of Tufts-New England Medical Center, Department of Emergency Medicine, Boston, US, suggests that :

Changing dispensers may prevent intoxication from isopropanol and ethyl alcohol-based hand sanitizers  Annals of Emergency Medicicine – 2007. The newly improved dispenser [pictured] has a security shield that deters patients from drinking the contents (or at least not a whole bottle at one shot).

BONUS assignment [optional] Suggest other (benign) ways to discourage hospital patients from drinking from sanitizers.

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