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    May 2, 2022 admin

    Hand Hygiene can have a Huge Impact on Infection Control

    The History behind Hand Hygiene:

    Patients, insurers, governments, and regulatory agencies are all paying more attention to healthcare-associated illnesses. This is attributable not just to the enormity of the problem in terms of morbidity, death, and treatment costs, but also to the rising realisation that the majority of these are preventable. The importance of hand cleaning in patient care was first recognised in the early 1800s. Hand decontamination can significantly lower the frequency of puerperal fever and maternal mortality, according to Labarraque. In the 1840s, Semmelweis worked at Vienna’s Great Hospital. The hospital had two maternity clinics with an alternate day admittance policy. The first clinic was attended by medical students who went straight from autopsy rooms to delivery suites, with a maternal mortality rate of roughly 10% due to puerperal fever. Maternal mortality was only 2% in the second clinic, which was staffed by midwives. Following the death of colleague Jokob Kolletschka, who had been accidentally sliced by a student’s knife while performing an autopsy, the perplexed Semmelweis made a breakthrough in 1847. His autopsy revealed a pathological condition similar to that of puerperal fever-suffering ladies.

    Puerperal fever, according to Semmelweis, was caused by “unknown cadaverous material.” He implemented a protocol requiring individuals exiting the autopsy room to wash their hands with chlorinated lime, which resulted in a ten-fold reduction in maternal mortality, comparable to the second clinic. In an era when germs had yet to be found and the germ hypothesis of disease had yet to be defined, he came close to conducting a controlled study. A group of scientists revealed that direct contact was the predominant mechanism of transmission of S. aureus in nurseries in another landmark study conducted in the aftermath of Staphylococcal epidemics in the 1950s. They also discovered that handwashing by patients’ contacts reduced S. aureus infection in newborns(2).

    5 Moments of hand hygiene given by WHO:

    In 2005, the World Health Organization (WHO) established the first Global Patient Safety Challenge, Clean Care is Safer Care, in an attempt to minimise the burden of healthcare-associated infections. 6 The goal was to promote optimum hand hygiene habits over the world as a first step toward reaching high infection control and patient safety standards. The SAVE LIVES: Clean Your Hands campaign boosted its visibility four years later. In order to lower the risk of health-care-associated illnesses, many NHS trusts in England have embraced the WHO’s ‘5 moments of hand hygiene approach to hand-washing. This new paradigm requires health care personnel to wash their hands at five different stages of the patient’s care. The World Health Organization’s ‘5 moments’ approach to hand hygiene encourages people to wash their hands at five different times. The steps are enlisted in the table below.

    Table 1: Five moments of hand hygiene as promoted by WHO

    Hand Hygiene promoted on World Hand hygiene day:

    The importance of hand hygiene is promoted on World hand hygiene day that is celebrated on 5th May every year. The WHO decides a theme for hand hygiene day every year. World Hand Hygiene Awareness Day 2022 with a theme, “quality and safety climate or culture” is centred on acknowledging that cleaning our hands may contribute to a facility’s climate or culture of safety and quality, as well as that a strong quality and safety culture will encourage individuals to clean their hands at the appropriate times and with the appropriate materials. We take this occasion to thank the healthcare workers and Infection prevention and control practitioners who have helped us fight a destructive pandemic. The WHO campaign also includes raising awareness about the significance of proper hand hygiene. The patient, the health care provider, and care or treatment involving contact with the patient or their surroundings are all three parts of the point of care, according to WHO. According to the WHO, there should be a reliable method for preventing the transmission of germs and viruses. Hand washing in the most effective manner could be used to prevent the spread of the disease.

    IMAEC contributes to the Hand Hygiene mission of the WHO:

    IMAEC MEDNTEK is also concerned about the safety of your hands and your health. IMAEC has a range of hand hygiene solutions as recommended by WHO. Prowipes EN, which contains 80% ethanol, and Prowipes IP, which contains 75% isopropyl alcohol, are two alcohol-based hand sanitisers that we offer. According to WHO guidelines, alcohol-based hand sanitisers should contain 0.125 percent hydrogen peroxide to keep the alcohol stable. It also includes glycerol, which protects against skin irritation. It is most commonly used in hospitals, pharmaceutical and food businesses, research laboratories, and other places where hand hygiene is important. For use by children and those with sensitive hands. Prowipes NAHS, a non-alcoholic hand sanitiser, is available from IMAEC. Benzethonium chloride, a first-generation quaternary ammonium chemical, is found in Prowipes NAHS. It’s a non-flammable and skin-friendly product. The WHO recommends all of these hand sanitiser formulations for hand protection.


    1. Infection prevention in hospitals: The importance of hand hygiene. (n.d.). Retrieved May 1, 2022, from https://www.healio.com/news/infectious-disease/20140422/10_3928_1081_597x_20140101_00_1340650
    2. Mathur, P. (2011). Hand hygiene: Back to the basics of infection control. The Indian Journal of Medical Research, 134(5), 611–620. https://doi.org/10.4103/0971-5916.90985
    3. The World Health Organization ‘5 Moments of Hand Hygiene’ | The Bone & Joint Journal. (n.d.). Retrieved May 1, 2022, from https://online.boneandjoint.org.uk/doi/full/10.1302/0301-620X.94B4.27772
    4. WHO calls for better hand hygiene and other infection control practices. (n.d.). Retrieved May 1, 2022, from https://www.who.int/news/item/05-05-2021-who-calls-for-better-hand-hygiene-and-other-infection-control-practices
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