Two hands with five fingers each – they stand for May 5th, the World Day of Hand Hygiene. The Word Health Organization (WHO) has kicked off this day to especially draw the attention of the health care workers to the importance of hand hygiene. The day is accompanied by the campaign "Save Lives – Clean Your Hands".
Anyone who goes to a hospital for treatment usually expects to leave the building healthily. Still, there are again and again infections, in part by multiresistant pathogens, which can lead to death in the worst case. For a great part, this can be counteracted with the right hygiene, particularly hand hygiene.
Hand hygiene plays a very important role especially in the medical sector – hospital, doctor's office or laboratory. Germs and pathogens, which are very dangerous for patients and the medical staff, are usually transferred over the hands. Therefore, a correct and neat hand hygiene is extremely important. In addition to a thorough hand cleaning and a mechanical barrier protection, for example with gloves, hand disinfection plays an important role.
"Fight antibiotic resistance – it's in your hands" is this year’s motto of the World Day of Hand Hygiene. But according to the WHO about 70 percent of the health care workers practice hand hygiene inadequately. And yet, there are many situations in daily healthcare practice, where it plays a key role: Before and after touching a patient, before an aseptic procedure, after body fluid exposure risk and after touching the patient’s surroundings. If hand hygiene is not practiced accurately, it can lead to infection and to the death of the patient in the worst case. However, many health care workers are not aware of the importance of thorough and regular hand hygiene.
That is where the World Day of Hand Hygiene comes into action. Both health care workers and the general public should be made aware of the importance of hand hygiene with posters and activities all around May the 5th. On the official campaign page of the WHO (www.who.int/infection-prevention), you can not only find many posters, videos and information about the World Day of Hand Hygiene, but also tips, guidelines and other suggestions for the all-year realization of hand hygiene.
You can also contribute to the World Day of Hand Hygiene on Social Media by using the following hashtag:
Hospital hygiene – Little helper tool for hand disinfection
The main weak spot in hand disinfection at hospitals is that it is either not or not properly carried out. Oftentimes, the reason is that employees lack the time to do it right. A little helper motivates staff members to correctly disinfect hands.