Since the Covid-19 pandemic, we’ve all become well versed in good hand hygiene – and it’s something we like to talk about here at St Hugh’s.
Today is World Hand Hygiene Day, the global ‘clean your hands’ campaign that’s celebrated annually to highlight hand hygiene in health care.
Organised by WHO, it calls on healthcare workers and facilities to achieve good, effective hand hygiene at the point of care; in other words, where the patient, the professional, and the treatment come together.
But we all have a part to play, which is why we’re supporting the campaign by explaining how we can work together to make places like St Hugh’s Hospital as safe as possible – for everyone.
Samantha Marsh, our infection control lead, said: “Practising good hand hygiene is one of the most effective ways to reduce the spread of pathogens and prevent infections, including the Covid-19 virus.
“The theme of this year’s campaign is for organisations like us to promote a health care ‘quality and safety climate or culture’ that values hand hygiene and infection prevention and control.
“Hospitals like St Hugh’s do this as a matter of course, but we also feel we’re in a good position to talk about it and explain how the everyone – not just those of us who use healthcare – can contribute. World Hand Hygiene Day encourages us to unite for safety and clean our hands.”
Here are a couple of facts that show why keeping our hands clean is important (from WHO):
- Appropriate hand hygiene prevents up to 50% of avoidable infections acquired during health care delivery, including those affecting the workforce.
- Globally, out of every 100 patients, seven in developed countries will acquire at least one handcare-associated infection (HAI) in acute care hospitals.
In response to the pandemic, WHO launched the #SafeHands challenge – a campaign highlighting practical steps we can all take to protect ourselves and those close to us. Despite the easing of Government Covid guidelines, the advice still remains very relevant… and hand-washing forms a major part.
Samantha continued: “We look after patients and ourselves by following WHO’s approach to cleaning hands. There are five stages: before touching a patient; before clean/aseptic procedures; after body fluid exposure/risk; after touching a patient; and after touching patient surroundings.
“Naturally, we take this very seriously. But we can all play our part in this. Make clean hands your habit – it protects us all.”
For more information about World Hand Hygiene Day, visit www.who.int/campaigns/world-hand-hygiene-day/2022