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Written by Pharmacist, Tan Yee Fan

What is Hand Hygiene?

 

Hand Hygiene is a way of washing one’s hands that substantially diminish potential pathogens (harmful germs) on hands.

WHO?

  • Any healthcare professionals like doctors, pharmacists, dentists, nurses or others that involved in patient care really need to be serious on personal hygiene especially hands.

 

WHY?

  • Hands are the main route of pathogens transmission when handling healthcare procedures with the patients.
  • It is very important to prevent unnecessary health care associated infections and avoid the harmful pathogens transmission

 

HOW?

  • Clean both hands by rubbing them using alcohol-based hand sanitizer. It is more preferred than soap with water if hands are not visibly stained as way faster & more effective.
  • Wash with soap and water when hands are visibly dirty or stained with body fluids and bloods.

7 Steps of Hand Wash

WHEN?

  • Before contacting with a patient

To safeguard the patient against infections by harmful pathogens carried on your hands.

  • Before clean / aseptic procedure

To safeguard the patient against colonization with harmful germs invading his/her body.

  • After body fluid exposure risk

To safeguard you from infection with patient’s harmful pathogens and also preventing spread of pathogens to health-care environment.

  • After contacting with a patient

To safeguard you from colonization with patient pathogens and avoiding harmful germs spread in healthcare environment.

  • After contacting with patient surroundings

To safeguard you from colonization with patient pathogens that may be appears on surfaces / objects in patient surroundings and to prevent germs spread in healthcare environment.

 References

1)  WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATIONS (WHO) (2009) Hand Hygiene: Why, How & When?,Availableat: https://www.who.int/gpsc/5may/Hand_Hygiene_Why_How_and_When_Brochure.pdf (Accessed: 27 MARCH 2020).

2) Division of Oral Health, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (1 MARCH 2016) Hand Hygiene, Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/oralhealth/infectioncontrol/faqs/hand-hygiene.html (Accessed: 27 MARCH 2020).

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