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SAVE LIVES: Clean Your Hands - WHO's global annual campaign May 5th, 2018- Campaign Resources

Information about Hand Hygiene

A Message from the WHO SAVE LIVES: Clean your Hands Team

Dear colleagues,
I am pleased to bring you the latest update on the 5 May 2018 campaign.
Our campaign webpage has been updated almost on daily basis so please bookmark and stay tuned:
The latest newsletter 
- includes a motivational message from Prof Didier Pittet.
- it also outlines the plans for social media which are:
"WHO will be active on social media on 29 April to prepare people for the campaign day and then between 3-5 May in order to promote the campaign to a worldwide audience. The main hashtags are #handhygiene and #sepsis - using the WHO promotional photograph board (http://www.who.int/infection-prevention/campaigns/clean-hands/SelfieBoard2018.pdf) and sharing photos using the #s will mean they will be captured and featured on a dedicated website managed by Professor Didier Pittet. www.CleanHandsSaveLives.org Never underestimate the role that social media can play in the reach of the global campaign and on-going commitment to hand hygiene in health care."
The WHO campaign acknowledgement page has been updated. If your organization features a web link to the WHO campaign, WHO will feature it here:
The list is getting longer and longer. Please help disseminate our messages.
While not solely 5 May 2018 resources, I alert you that:
- a brand new fact sheet on sepsis has been launched - this is a great resource given fact sheets are the most accessed on WHO web pages http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/sepsis/en/
- the meeting notes from the sepsis technical expert meeting in January have also been posted  http://www.who.int/servicedeliverysafety/areas/sepsis_meeting2018/en/
Let’s make a big buzz for the campaign success and to save lives. “It’s in your hands – prevent sepsis in healthcare”

Please see attached PDF version of the newsletter.

Information in other languages are being updated including the infographics on how to prevent sepsis as well as the campaign posters.


STOP! Clean Your Hands Day is Friday, May 4th!

The Canadian program is a partnership with Infection Prevention and Control Canada, Patients for Patient Safety Canada, Public Health Ontario, and the Public Health Agency of Canada i proud to be the Canadian host for STOP! Clean Your Hands Day

The theme for this year's campaign is “Clean your hands: The bug stops here!” Each year in Canada 8,000 to 12,000 patients die from complications of healthcare-associated infections. Through the simple act of promoting optimal hand hygiene, you will help to reduce that number.

Here are two great ways to participate in #STOPCleanYourHandsDay on May 4th:

Register today at www.handhygiene.ca to receive tools and resources to promote hand hygiene.On May 4th capture images of you, your staff, and your patients cleaning their hands. Then share your images with us via social media – Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc. – with the hashtag #thebugstopshere. Not only will you be entered for terrific prizes, but we will collect and share these posts around the world!

By taking part in STOP! Clean Your Hands Day, you are joining thousands of healthcare providers, leaders, and patients who share the belief that every patient experience should be safe, and that preventing harm is worth the effort.


The Rationale for Hand Hygiene


Why is hand hygiene important?

Hand hygiene refers to removing or killing microorganisms (germs) on the hands. When performed correctly, hand hygiene is the single most effective way to prevent the spread of communicable diseases and infections. In health care, hand hygiene is used to eliminate transient microorganisms that have been picked up via contact with patients, contaminated equipment or the environment. Hand hygiene may be performed either by using soap and running water, or with alcohol-based hand rubs.

When should hand hygiene be performed?

In health care, hand hygiene is required:

  • Before and after contact with any patient/resident, their body substances or items contaminated by them
  • Between different procedures on the same patient/resident
  • Before and after performing invasive procedures
  • Before preparing, handling, serving or eating food or feeding a patient/resident
  • After assisting patients/residents with personal care (e.g. assisting patient to blow nose, toileting or doing wound care)
  • Before putting on and after taking off gloves
  • After performing personal functions (e.g. using the toilet, blowing your nose)
  • When hands come into contact with secretions, excretions, blood and body fluids (use soap and running water whenever hands are visibly soiled)

When should soap and water be used?

The mechanical action of washing, rinsing and drying removes transient bacteria present on the hands. Hand washing with soap and running water must be performed whenever hands are visibly soiled.

Any type of plain soap may be used. However, bar soaps are not acceptable in health care settings except for single patient/resident personal use. If used, bar soap should be kept in a self draining holder that is cleaned thoroughly before new bars are put out. Liquid soap containers should be used until empty and then discarded. Soap containers must not be topped up, as there is a risk of contamination of residual soap. Antibacterial soaps may be used in critical care areas such as ICU, or in other areas where invasive procedures are performed.

When should alcohol-based hand rubs be used?

Alcohol-based hand rubs/gels/rinses are the preferred method for decontaminating hands, provided they contain more than 60% alcohol. They are widely used in health care settings, or in situations where running water is not available. Using alcohol-based hand rub is better than washing hands (even with an antibacterial soap) when hands are not visibly soiled.

Won't frequent hand hygiene dry my skin?

Intact skin is the first line of defence against microorganisms, hence it is important to maintain good skin care. To prevent chafing, wet your hands before applying soap and use a mild lotion soap with warm water; pat rather than rub hands dry; and apply lotion liberally and frequently. Skin lotions should be chosen that will not interfere with glove integrity.

Most alcohol-based hand rubs contain emollients to reduce the incidence of skin irritation. Frequen use of alcohol-based hand rub actually lessens the incidence of skin breakdown, as it does not subject hands to the friction and abrasion involved in hand washing and drying hands.

If an individual develops compromised skin integrity, he/she should be referred to Occupational Health for assessment.

Hand Hygiene Procedures

How do I use soap and water?

Good hand hygiene technique is easy to learn. Follow these five simple steps to keeping hands clean: