In reply: Woollard is critical of the lack of randomised controlled data to support the use of alcohol/chlorhexidine hand rub solution (ACHRS). Although a placebo-controlled study would be ideal, it is doubtful whether one could be performed. Apart from the complexity of design and cost, there would be the requirement to ask patients to consent to being treated in a hospital where there was a substantial risk of nosocomial sepsis, but where half the health care workers would not have clean hands when attending them.
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