International Infection Control Week 2022

Since the Covid-19 pandemic came into our lives, we all know the importance of minimisingthe risk of passing germs and bugs to each other.

The worldwide pandemic and its ongoing effects brought infection control to the centre of public awareness, highlighting how we can all do our bit to keep our families, friends, and communities safe.

International Infection Control Week 2022 (IIPW) – organised by the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (known as APIC for short) and now in its 50th year – is the perfect opportunity to remind ourselves what we can all do to help each other.

Running from today to October 22, IIPW forms part of the ongoing Infection Prevention and You campaign to help everyone – that’s patients, families, and healthcare professionals –better understand their role in preventing infections and improving patient safety as a result.

Sam Marsh, our Infection Prevention Control lead, said: “When anyone goes into a hospital or surgery for care, or any other healthcare setting for that matter, like dentists, they become vulnerable to developing infections.

“While every step possible is taken at St Hugh’s Hospital to keep patients – as well as their visitors and our staff – safe, there are also things we can all do together to reduce the risk… and it starts with knowledge.

“Simply being aware of infection control basics is a huge positive.”

 

According to APIC, the top ways that patients and families can prevent infection and “break the chain of infection in healthcare settings” are:

Speak up for your caredon’t be shy. Your doctors, nurses, and other members of your care team want you to have a voice in your care.
Clean your hands often.
Ask to have your room cleaned if you feel it needs it.
Ask questions about your medications. prescribed to you. Know what they are for, how to take them, how long for, and how often. If you are taking antibiotics, take them exactly as prescribed, even if you start to feel better.
Ask if you should shower before having surgery.
Ask each day if you still need a catheter (if you have one).
Ask about vaccinations so you stay healthy.
Be sure you know how to be a good visitor!
 

Pretty clued up already? That’s great… so why not test your knowledge in this quiz? infectionpreventionandyou.org/qsm_quiz/are-you-an-infection-preventionist

A spokesperson for APIC said: “Covid-19 continues to show the world what we have always known—infection preventionists (IPs) play a crucial role in keeping our neighbourhoods safe and healthy. In addition to fighting a global pandemic, the infection prevention and control community is protecting us from surges in healthcare-associated infections, measles outbreaks, flu season, and so many other day-to-day infectious battles. 

This year’s theme is The Future is Infection Prevention: 50 Years of Infection Prevention’, highlighting the decades of infection prevention throughout APIC’s 50 years and inspire the next generation to join the fight.

There are many different germs inside and outside of the healthcare setting. These germs spread in many different ways. For example, germs can spread from person to person and from objects to people. To stop germs from infecting people, healthcare professionals, patients, and families need to work together to stay healthy.

Keeping your hands clean is the number one way to prevent the spread of infection. Clean your hands after using the bathroom; after sneezing, blowing your nose, or coughing; before eating; when visiting someone who is sickwhenever your hands are dirty.

It takes a chain reaction of events for infections to spread to others. The way to stop germs from spreading is by interrupting the chain. The good news is that everyone can prevent infections by simply knowing the basics.”

Find out more about APIC’s campaign at infectionpreventionandyou.org