Hand Hygiene

Hand hygiene refers to the act of cleaning one’s hands to prevent the spread of germs and infections.

This is important in healthcare settings as well as in daily life, as many infections can be transmitted by hand-to-hand contact or contact with contaminated surfaces.

Proper hand hygiene involves washing your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially before and after touching patients or handling food.

Alcohol-based hand sanitizers can also be used if soap and water are not available.

It is important to rub the sanitizer all over hands and allow them to dry completely. Hand hygiene is essential in preventing the spread of infectious diseases and promoting overall health and well-being.

The preferred  method uses an alcohol based hand rub.

Aqueous alcoholic solution or traditional antisepsis washing with chlorhexidine or povoidone-iodine based solutions provide comparable results.

Soap and water for hand hygiene is used when hands are visibly contaminated with soil or blood or other substances.

Adherence of proper hand-washing practices in healthcare institutions occurs about 40% of the time by healthcare workers.

If a healthcare worker’s hands are not visibly soiled their hands should be decontaminated with alcohol-based hand rub or antimicrobial soap and water before direct contact with patients, before donning sterile gloves for performing procedures, before eating, after contact with a patients skin, body fluids excretions, mucous membranes and wound dressings, after using a rest room and after removing gloves.

Preoperative scrubbing of 2 minutes is as effective as a 10 minute scrub in reducing flora.

Surgical scrubbing should include hands and forearms up to the elbows for 2-5 minutes.

Finger nails should be kept short and cleaning under the nails should be done at the beginning of each day.

Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America guidelines for hand hygiene in Healthcare facilities recommend: soap and alcohol-based hand rub with at least 62% alcohol should be used for routine hand hygiene, use of alcohol-based hand rubs or soap and water before patient contact, before preparing or handling medications, before moving from a contaminated body site to a clean site in the same patient, before and after inserting and handling invasive devices, after the contact with blood or bodily fluids, after direct patient contact, or contact with patient environment, wearing gloves to protect hands from contamination with micro organisms, are essential when contact with blood or body fluids is anticipated, gloves critical when hand hygiene may be insufficient to prevent transmission, and when hands are visibly soiled the use of soap and water not alcohol-based hand rubs are used for hand hygiene.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *