Happy World Hand Hygiene Day!

The world has learned a lot about hand hygiene in the last few years, remember COVID? The pandemic had us all washing our hands while singing Happy Birthday in our heads, or probably sometimes out loud!
In healthcare, hand hygiene is at the forefront of the fight against infection and plays a huge part in infection control. However, there have been studies around the world that have indicated that healthcare providers clean their hands less than half of the time they should, this causes the transmission of infections among healthcare workers and service users.

The concept of handwashing while taking care of patients and service users surfaced in the 19th Century following chemist and pharmacist Antoine Germain Labarraques’ work developing the use of chlorides of calcium and sodium as a disinfectant and deodorizer in a number of settings including hospitals. Labarraque proved that the number of germs present reduced following the use of chlorinated calcium by doctors who were moving from completing autopsies on cadavers to treating patients. From their handwashing before treating patients was born and continues to be as important today.

Healthcare workers can encounter many different germs each day, including bacteria, viruses and fungi which can be transmitted from patient to patient and service user to service user through contact with contaminated surfaces or hands. For vulnerable people this can be detrimental to their health, good hand hygiene can reduce the risk of transmitting these pathogens to others.

Hand washing is the most effective method of practicing good hand hygiene and is carried out before and after every contact with patients or service users, especially if they have been in contact with bodily fluids and after removing gloves.

By practicing good hand hygiene our staff team reduce the spread of infections and protect themselves and our service users.
Working together on this we can make a significant impact on preventing the spread of infections and improving patient outcomes.

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