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HAND HYGIENE: WHY, HOW & WHEN?

WHY?

  • Thousands of people die every day around the world from infections acquired while receiving health care.
  • Hands are the main pathways of germ transmission during health care.
  • Hand hygiene is therefore the most important measure to avoid the transmission of harmful germs and prevent health care-associated infections.
  • The brochure (download below) explains how and when to practice hand hygiene.

WHO?

  • Any health-care worker, caregiver or person involved in direct or indirect patient care needs to be concerned about hand hygiene and should be able to perform it correctly and at the right time.
  • Various properties have to be taken into account when looking at the effectiveness of an antiseptic agent:

HOW?

  • Clean your hands by rubbing them with an alcohol-based formulation, as the preferred mean for routine hygienic hand antisepsis if hands are not visibly soiled. It is faster, more effective, and better tolerated by your hands than washing with soap and water.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water when hands are visibly dirty or visibly soiled with blood or other body fluids or after using the toilet.
  • If exposure to potential spore-forming pathogens is strongly suspected or proven, including outbreaks of Clostridium difficile, hand washing with soap and water is the preferred means.


As of the date of preparation of this document, the foregoing information is believed to be accurate and is provided in good faith. However, no warranty or representation with respect to such information is intended or given.