Reducing Infection Through Handwashing

Topics: Nosocomial infection, Hygiene, Hand washing Pages: 4 (1017 words) Published: September 29, 2010

Reducing Spread of Infection with Use of Alcohol-Based Products vs. Hand Washing: An Evidence Based Practice
Megan K. Furnish

Thomas Jefferson University

Have you ever ate something without washing your hands or been next to someone who sneezed? If you have then you’ve been exposed to millions of germs. The world is full of microorganisms, such as bacteria and viruses which can make people sick. Simple activities, like breathing, eating, and touching constantly expose microbes to the surrounding environment, and inevitably, our bodies. These microbes are a main factor for the cause of infections. The basic concept of washing hands is vital in the prevention of infection. A major challenge facing healthcare is controlling the incidence of infections among patients. “This is because hands may readily become contaminated with transient micro-organisms during the delivery of health care” (Patel, 2004, p. 32). Research suggests that good hygiene practices assist in the reduction of infections (Stout, Ritchie, & Macpherson, 2007). Principle Findings

An increase in hospital acquired infections has been associated with inadequate hand hygiene in healthcare settings, affecting a multitude of patients each year. The journal article entitled, “Clinical Effectiveness of Alcohol-Based Products in Increasing Hand Hygiene Compliance and Reducing Infection Rates: A Systematic Review,” studies proper hand washing techniques in clinical settings, considering a solution to the rising problem of poor hand hygiene. “Compliance with hand hygiene guidelines and standards is unsatisfactory, and various initiatives have been developed to improve the situation. One approach involves the use of alcohol-based hand hygiene products, which, unlike soap and water, do not require access to a sink, and are also quicker to use”7 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Guideline for hand hygiene in...

References: Patel, S. (2004). The efficacy of alcohol-based hand disinfectant products. Nursing Times, 100(23), 32-34.
Stout, A., Ritchie, K., & Macpherson, K. (2007). Clinical effectiveness of alcohol-based products in increasing hand hygiene compliance and reducing infection rates: A systematic review. Journal of Hospital Infection, 66(4), 308-312.
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