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Hand Hygiene. DA 116 Infection Control. The importance of Hand asepsis:. First and most important step in infection control Think about as hand hygiene rather than hand washing It’s not what you wash with, but how you wash that counts. Hand Hygiene Definitions:.

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Hand Hygiene


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    1. Hand Hygiene DA 116 Infection Control

    2. The importance of Hand asepsis: • First and most important step in infection control • Think about as hand hygiene rather than hand washing • It’s not what you wash with, but how you wash that counts

    3. Hand Hygiene Definitions: • Handwashing: washing hands with plain soap and water • Antiseptic handwash: washing hands with soap and water or other detergents containing an antiseptic agent • Alcohol-based handrub: rubbing hands with an alcohol containing preparation • Surgical antisepsis: handwashing with an antiseptic soap or an alcohol-based handrub before operations, by surgical personnel

    4. Microorganisms found on the Hands: • Resident: • Always present • Located several layers beneath the skin surface • Washing only slightly decreases the number • Transient: • Results from and lead to cross-contamination • Located on skin surface • Hand washing or hand rubbing can remove

    5. As studies have shown, our fingernails house the highest level of pathogens on our hands.  The area under the fingernail has at least 75 times more microorganisms per density than anywhere else on the hands. Location on hands Density of microorganisms (CFU = colony-forming units) 61,368 CFU 847 CFU 250 CFU 223 CFU 89 CFU 1. Under fingernails 2. Palm of hands 3. Back of hands 4. Between fingers 5. Top of fingernails

    6. Traditionally: • Basic hand hygiene involved: • Mechanically wash with soap and water • Rinse and dry thoroughly • Keep hands clean • Consider skin integrity ( check for cuts and openings in the skin)

    7. Today: • We have a choice of methods: • Hand-washing: • Requires: Antibacterial soap, water and a sink • This process is used when hands are visibly dirty or contaminated • Start of day; before breaks; after breaks; end of day • Hand-rubbing: • Requires: Alcohol based gel, liquid or lotion • This process is used if you want to reduce the number of microorganisms on the skin, but not when the hands are visibly dirty

    8. Using a Hand sanitizer • Good alternative to handwashing when: • Hands not visibly soiled • Sanitizer has 60% or more alcohol content • Not recommended for food preparation

    9. Microorganisms on hands after routine handwashing

    10. What about fingernails??? • CDC recommendations: • Short with smooth, filed edges • Nail polish NOT recommended: • Chipped polish harbors added bacteria • Bright colors (red) show through gloves and may alarm patients • Note: jewelry is not recommended for same reasons • Artificial nails: • Not recommended • Usually too long • Create an environment for microbial growth • Nail polish on them add to the problems • Longer nails can tear gloves or make gloves not fit well • Longer nails can prevent effective clinical skills

    11. Hand Care for healthy intact skin • Improper handwashing can lead to dry, irritated skin • Use cool to lukewarm water NOT HOT • Dry thoroughly after washing • Caution with hand lotions and moisturizers • Products with petroleum can weaken gloves and cause pinholes in them • Select products specific for healthcare workers