Save Lives: Clean Hands, 5th May 2018
This May 5th the World Health Organisation are linking the hand hygiene campaign to the ‘Antibiotics, handle with care’ initiative, highlighting the relationship between antimicrobial resistance and infection control. #handhygiene #antibioticresistance
Hand hygiene is not a luxury; it is a simple, effective and affordable solution to reduce both the spread of infection and multi-resistant germs. It is particularly important for patients in hospitals as it reduces the spread of health care-associated infection.
Infections, particularly in the healthcare settings:
- prolong the duration of illnesses;
- prolong hospital stays;
- increase the possibility of long-term disability;
- increase the resistance of microorganisms to antimicrobial medications;
- increase the financial burden for health systems;
- and increase the financial burden for patients and their families
cause a number of preventable deaths .
In Europe, WHO state that healthcare acquired infections cause 16 million extra-days of hospital stay, directly cause 37 000 deaths, and contribute to a further 110 000 deaths every year.
Most health care-associated infections are preventable through good hand hygiene – cleaning hands at the right times and in the right way.
If soap and water are unavailable, alcohol-based hand sanitizers that contain at least 60% alcohol are a good alternative for hand cleaning. Remember, hand sanitizers are not as effective when hands are visibly dirty or greasy.