Hand hygiene, the most important measure to avoid transmitting infections in health care, experts say
In Spain, between 5-10% of patients will get an infection related to healthcare, according to the Epine study
The doctor of the Preventive Medicine Service of the Hospital Quirónsalud Infanta Luisa, Sacred Heart and Field of Gibraltar Nuria López Ruiz points out, in the framework of the World Hand Hygiene Day that is celebrated on May 5, the importance of hand hygiene when it comes to preventing the transmission of infections in health care.
And it is that the specialist says that “washing hands saves lives”, since the hands are “the main route of transmission of germs during health care.” In Spain, as extracted from the Prevalence Study of Nosocomial Infections in Spain (Epine), between 5-10% of patients will get an infection related to healthcare and thousands of people die daily worldwide because of infections acquired while receiving health care, as highlighted by WHO.
As indicated in a statement, some examples of diseases in which transmission can be reduced by hand washing are common colds, the flu, hepatitis A, some gastroenteritis, infections with microorganisms resistant and not resistant to antibiotics, herpes Whooping cough, among others.
Specifically, this year, World Hand Hygiene Day is celebrated under the slogan ‘Prevent septicemia is in your hands’. Sepsis arises when an infection disrupts the normal response of the body and damage to organs and tissues.
Thus, each hospital in Quirónsalud periodically performs an observation of hand hygiene according to the five moments of the World Health Organization (WHO) – before contact with the patient, before aseptic tasks, after aseptic tasks, after contact with patient and after patient environment.
As for the general population, López highlights the importance of raising public awareness of hand washing whenever they are visibly dirty, after using the bathroom, after eating, before preparing food, among other times. He also states that “it is very important to have respiratory hygiene”, that is, to sneeze in tissues and never in the palms of your hands, cough towards the elbow, cover your mouth when coughing, among other measures to take.
“All populations must have good hand hygiene, although more vulnerable populations must, in general, be especially careful, such as children, the elderly and immunocompromised people,” he adds.
To do this, he explains the benefits of the hydroalcoholic solution (alcohol-based disinfectant), in the hospital setting, as a usual preferred means to disinfect the hands when they are not visibly dirty. “It is faster, more effective and better tolerated by the hands than washing them with soap and water,” says the preventive doctor, who indicates that, at home, “soap and water can be used, but remember that for washing be effective, you have to take the right time, about 40 or 60 seconds in total. ”
In addition, in the facilities of the Quirónsalud Infanta Luisa, Sagrado Corazón and Campo de Gibraltar hospitals, Dr. López is going to carry out activities, from this Thursday until next Monday, May 7, for the World Hand Hygiene Day aimed at sensitize health professionals and the general population that “good hand hygiene saves lives”.
Some of these activities will consist of giving information and carrying out practical exercises to learn to wash your hands correctly, using a black box with ultraviolet light to see if the hand hygiene technique is done correctly, training health professionals in hospitalization plants and ICU or the visit to the area of Pediatrics to also raise awareness among children through games.