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States » East

Poor hand hygiene leads to germ transmission

Poor hand hygiene leads to germ transmission

Kolkata, Oct 24 (UNI) Poor hand hygiene leads to germ transmission including of those germs resistant to antibiotics.

This can put patients at risk of potentially fatal health care-associated infections (HAI). Yet, in some facilities, a staggering 90 per cent of health care workers do not clean their hands effectively.

According to World Health Organization (WHO), healthcare-associated infections usually occur when germs are transferred by health-care providers’ hands touching the patient. Of every 100 hospitalized patients, at least 7 in high-income and 10 in low-/middle-income countries will acquire a healthcare-associated infection.

Among critically ill and vulnerable patients in intensive care units, that figure rises to around 30 per 100 . Every year, hundreds of millions of patients around the world are affected by healthcare-associated infections, a high proportion of which is caused by germs that are resistant to antimicrobial drugs.

When patients are infected with germs that do not respond well to antibiotics, they generally have worse clinical outcomes, cost more to treat and are more likely to die than other patients.

Health workers can play a vital role to protect patients from infections that are difficult to treat by performing hand hygiene at 5 key moments, preferably by using an alcohol-based rub or by hand washing with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.

The ‘5 Moments’ for hand hygiene are: before touching a patient, before clean and aseptic procedures (e.g. Inserting devices such as catheters), after contact with body fluids, after touching a patient and after touching patient surroundings.

The use of alcohol-based hand rub products is a key factor to achieve improvement because they can be promptly used at the point of care when hand hygiene is needed to ensure patient safety and they have higher antimicrobial effect than soap and water.


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