World Health Organization (WHO) presents new hand hygiene guidelines!

May 28, 2009

Healthy handwashing: how to get your hands clean.

In May 2009 the World Health Organization (WHO) has presented new guidelines for hand hygiene and handwashing. The guidelines were targeted at hospital administrators, public health officials, and healthcare workers (HCWs).

The new guidlines are designed to be used in any setting in which healthcare is delivered either to a patient or to a specific group, including all settings where healthcare is permanently or occasionally performed. Details are presented for the following: hand hygiene indications, hand hygiene techniques, selecting hand hygiene agents, recommendations for skin care + glove use, and surgical hand preperation.

A few quotes from the new WHO guidlines:

“• When washing hands, wet hands with water and apply enough soap to cover all surfaces; rinse hands with water and dry thoroughly with a single-use towel. Whenever possible, use clean, running water. Avoid hot water, which may increase the risk for dermatitis.

• Liquid, bar, leaf, or powdered soap is acceptable; bars should be small and placed in racks that allow drainage.

• When using alcohol based handrub, rub a palmful of alcohol-based handrub over all hand surfaces until dry.

• Soap and alcohol-based handrub should not be used together.”

SUGGESTIONS FOR READING MORE ABOUT HAND HYGIENE:

Hand hygiene: warm air dryers increase bacteria on hands!
A kiss is healthier than a handshake!

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