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Hand Washing:

hand washing

This topic is a real hot potato for everyone going into hospital, attending appointments or indeed just visiting.

Well Thank goodness for Dr. Semmelweis is all I can say! Why you might ask? Well he was in a hospital in Vienna over a hundred years ago in a maternity ward which had an extremely high death rate. He noted that after the medical students had been
dissecting cadavers (dead bodies) they went straight on to the maternity ward to do their rounds! And no prizes for guessing- they hadn't washed their hands in between- fortunately Dr.  Semmelweis insisted on hand washing and the death rate fell. –Infection control had begun.

Hand washing, when done well is an important part of your personal hygiene routine and is a very powerful way of preventing the spread of Germs - such as bacteria and viruses

Everyone is responsible for germs in hospitals not just the Healthcare people you come into contact with.

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Why do we need to?

Every time we come into hospital, every surface that we touch, every object we pick up and use will have thousands on microscopic germs on the surface. Those germs are transferred to your hands, and then onto the next surface or person we touch. Think about all the things you touch each day and how many people may have touched them before you. It is these germs that we really need to stop transferring to people who are already ill.

For your safety:
If there is a hand cleansing dispenser on your bed make sure everyone who comes into contact with you uses it that includes your visitors.

If the dispenser is empty ask for it to be filled and if it doesn't get filled ask the person to go and wash their hands before they touch you. It is as simple as that

It is as simple as that: -

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Everyone should wash hands

  • Whenever your hands are visibly dirty
  • Before direct contact with a patient
  • After contact with any body fluids
  • After removing  gloves
  • Before and After leaving an isolation room
  • Prior to  handling or preparing food
  • Always preceding an aseptic procedures this includes invasive I.V.lines
  • Especially before contact with any immunosuppressed patients.
  • Always after visiting the lavatory.

The correct way to wash your hands?

  • First wet your hands and apply liquid or clean bar soap.
  • Next rub your hands vigorously together making sure the backs of the hands are included.
  • Continue for 1-2 minutes. It is the soap combined with the vigorous rubbing action that helps dislodge and remove germs.
  • Rinse well and dry your hands thoroughly with disposable towel.

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