5/5/16 – National Hand Hygiene Day

Do you know the best way to prevent the spread of disease in Healthcare? Hand-washing! Today (May 5th 2016) is National Hand Hygiene Day. Hand washing is the most preventable way to reduce the spread of Health care-associated infections (HCAIs).

The World Health Organization (WHO) has developed the “Five Moments for Hand Hygiene”. This guideline is intended to “define the key moments for hand hygiene, overcoming misleading language and complicated descriptions. It presents a unified vision and promotes a strong sense of ownership.”

The Five Moments of Hand Hygiene are:

  1. BEFORE PATIENT CONTACT
    WHEN? Clean your hands before touching a patient when approaching him or her
    WHY? To protect the patient against harmful germs carried on your hands
  2. BEFORE AN ASEPTIC TASK
    WHEN? Clean your hands immediately before any aseptic task
    WHY? To protect the patient against harmful germs, including the patient’s own germs, entering his or her body
  3.  AFTER BODY FLUID EXPOSURE RISK
    WHEN? Clean your hands immediately after an exposure risk to body fluids (and after glove removal)
    WHY? To protect yourself and the health-care environment from harmful patient germs
  4.  AFTER PATIENT CONTACT
    WHEN? Clean your hands after touching a patient and his or her immediate surroundings when leaving
    WHY? To protect yourself and the health-care environment from harmful patient germs
  5. AFTER CONTACT WITH PATIENT SURROUNDINGS
    WHEN? Clean your hands after touching any object or furniture in the patient’s immediate surroundings, when leaving – even without touching the patient
    WHY? To protect yourself and the health-care environment from harmful patient germs

Hand Hygiene can save lives! Remember to practice good hand hygiene following the Five Moments of Hand Hygiene to avoid the spread of infection to both you and your patient.

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