Proper hand washing: Optimal hand hygiene reduces the risk of infection

Proper hand washing: Optimal hand hygiene reduces the risk of infection

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Drastically reduce the risk of infection by washing your hands

Even small children are taught to wash their hands regularly and thoroughly, but even many adults neglect this simple hygiene measure. Optimal hand hygiene reduces the risk of infection and helps protect against colds, among other things.

Regular hand washing protects against diseases

Children are taught from an early age to wash their hands before eating or after playing. Most people stop thinking about it in adulthood and think it is a matter of course. But still some are a bit careless. And even though, according to experts, hand washing is the most important hygiene rule. For the international hand washing day on October 15th. make experts aware of the health benefits of this simple hygiene measure.

Many infectious diseases are transmitted through the hands

According to estimates by the World Health Organization (WHO), up to 80 percent of all infectious diseases are transmitted via the hands.

According to medical experts, the risk of developing gastrointestinal infections, diarrhea, flu or the common cold can be significantly reduced by washing your hands properly.

The Medical University of Vienna recently published a video, which is particularly important.

The hygiene measure is particularly important in health facilities. The MedUni Vienna and the General Hospital of the City of Vienna point this out in a communication.

Optimal hand hygiene reduces the risk of infection by 30 percent

Hand hygiene is the simplest and most effective measure to prevent the transmission of pathogens and thus the occurrence of infections in healthcare facilities.

As Elisabeth Presterl, head of the University Hospital for Hospital Hygiene and Infection Control at MedUni Vienna and AKH Vienna, explained, hand hygiene with hand disinfection before and after patient contact, regardless of whether it is from a doctor or from a visit, reduces the risk of infection by 30 Percent.

"Hand hygiene is simple, effective and takes less than 30 seconds, but can save lives," emphasized Presterl.

“Hand hygiene is particularly important in a hospital. For visitors too, ”says the doctor. “It is equally important that nobody who is sick comes to visit. The risk of infection is too high, ”said Presterl.

At the same time, she thinks nothing of "excessive" hygiene in children in everyday life: "You should also be a child and sometimes dirty, but when you come home and after the toilet, washing your hands is very important."

Additional hand disinfection in hospitals

From the point of view of other experts, you should spend 20 to 30 seconds on the hygiene measure. To get a feeling for this period of time, the children's aid organization Unicef ​​recommends singing the song "Happy Birthday" twice while washing hands. This is the optimal time to remove most dangerous bacteria and viruses.

It is not true that washing hands without soap is pointless, but according to health experts it is much more effective to use soap, as it removes dirt and microbes from the skin better than water alone.

The water temperature is not so important. However, fat and dirt dissolve somewhat more easily in warm water.

Additional hand disinfection is required in health care facilities.

"Due to the increasing number of multi-resistant pathogens, the importance of preventing the transmission of infections and their pathogens must be reminded again and again," explained Presterl.

International studies have shown that an increase in the hand disinfection rate from 48 percent to 66 percent leads to a reduction in infections from 17 to ten percent. (ad)

Author and source information

Video: Infection Prevention u0026 Control - Hand Hygiene (May 2022).