Electronic news letter from travancore medical college
Electronic News Letter from Travancore Medical College, Kollam Kerala Hand Washing the Basis of Infection Control *Dr.T.V.Rao, Dr Lipin Prasad Ignaz Philip Semmelweiss (1818-1867) championed theimportance of hand washing among the medical professionals.Yet there is no other procedure which is simple and costeffective in preventing the spread of infections in hospitalenvironment. It is utmost important duty of every medical,paramedical and nursing staff to educate, promote and monitorhand washing. In spite of more than a century of knowledgemany times, this simple procedure is ignored by the manysenior staff followed by junior staff members. The simpleprocedure of hand washing is the best prayer in prevention ofinfections in a hospital, continues to be the best remedy inreducing the hospital acquired infection. The basis of spread of infections in hospital is, the microbesare commonly exchanged from patients to patients, patients tomedical staff and medical staff to patients. In the abovemethods of spread, our hands play a great role in transmissionof infections. By simple procedure of hand washing the chain ofevents in spread can be minimised, if not totally controlled.Keeping hands clean through improved hand hygiene is one ofthe most important steps we can take to avoid getting sick andspreading microbes to others. Many diseases and conditionsare spread by not washing hands with soap and clean runningwater. If clean, running water is not accessible, as is commonin many parts of the world, or even at several locations in ourHospitals, use soap and little available water. If soap and waterare even unavailable or in locations where we have less
number of wash basins in view of the physical limitation toprovide , use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains atleast 60% alcohol to clean hands.When should you wash your hands? Before, during, and after preparing food Before and after treating a cut or wound After changing diapers or cleaning up a child who hasused the toilet After touching an animal or animal waste After touching garbagePractical Tips in Hand WashingUse soap and water (if possible mild warm water) vigorouslyrub your hands together until you have generated leather.Scrub your wrist between your fingers, under our nails, aroundthe tips and palms of the hands, practice this for 15-20 secondsand rinse and dry your hands with clean towel or an absorbingpaper napkinCommon infections spread by unclean hands:1. Drug Resistant Staphylococci, and Gram Negative bacteria.2. Clostridial infections including Clostridium difficle.3. Salmonella, E.coli, Shigella, Hepatitis A&E. Hepatitis Binfections.
4. When you are working in ICU and ICCU the patients areinvariably on broad spectrum antibiotics and colonized withmulti drug resistant bacteria. Your dedicated effort in handwashing will save the lives of serious patients, from infection.5. In the era of AIDS and Hepatitis B and C infections all theblood and body secretions are identified as health risk to allmedical/paramedical staff. Hand washing is included as primaryimportance in the universal precautions.6. Wearing a glove is not a total protection in handlinginfectious cases. Even the new gloves contain micro holes.Washing is equally important before use, after use of gloves.7. Your children can be effectively protected from infection ifyou teach simple hand washing, even in school after attendinga toilet or before taking food. It is observed that in schools withgood washing facilities the children are less likely to be sickwith infection from communicable diseases.Our goals in hand washing promotion Experience has shownthat most effective way to increase hand washing is to havephysicians, surgeons, senior paramedical staff and otherrespected individuals as role models to consistently wash theirhands and encourage others to do so.Social hand washing is also an important procedure to beexplained to all the patient attendants. As even attendants getinfected while serving and may take home the infection or bringsome infections from outside when they attend the patients.Teach Hand hygiene to your children at Homewhen our children come into contact with microbes, they canunknowingly become infected simply by touching their eyes,nose, or mouth. And once theyre infected, its usually just amatter of time before the whole family comes down with thesame illness.
Good hand washing is the first line of defence against thespread of many illnesses, from the common cold to moreserious illnesses such as, meningitis, bronchiolitis, influenza,hepatitis A, and most types of infectious diarrhoeas.What is our choice of Soap for hand washing?Antibacterial soaps have been heavily promoted to a health-conscious public. To date, there is no evidence that usingrecommended antiseptics or disinfectants selects for antibiotic-resistant organisms in natureA comprehensive analysis from the University Of OregonSchool Of Public Health indicated that plain soaps are aseffective as consumer-grade anti-bacterial soaps containingtriclosan in preventing illness and removing bacteria from thehandsHand sanitizers are not effective when hands are visiblydirty.How should you use hand sanitizer? Apply the product to the palm of one hand. Rub your hands together. Rub the product over all surfaces of your hands and fingers until your hands are dry.References; CDC guidelines on Hand HygieneEmail firstname.lastname@example.org