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World Hand Hygiene Day

World Hand Hygiene Day

Written by Rishika Gupta, B.Sc (Anesthesia Technology)
Article Reviewed by 
The Medindia Medical Review Team on May 4, 2018 at 6:20 PM
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  • World hand hygiene day is earmarked every year on 5th May, to draw attention to the consequences of hand hygiene neglect in health care and how important it is to maintain one.
  • Sepsis which has already been estimated to affect 30 million people worldwide every year, is one of the major risks of improper hand hygiene.
  • Healthcare-associated infections are common and are always a risk factor for developing sepsis, however it can be prevented by taking adequate precautions.

World Hand Hygiene Day marked on 5th May hopes to highlight the importance of clean hand hygiene in healthcare. The theme of this year "It's in your hands - prevent sepsis in health care" states a clear image of how healthcare professionals need to step up on the issue of hygiene. It is necessary that they follow and maintain best practices for infection prevention and control, such as washing hands and preventing sepsis formation.

This event calls for hospitals, clinics, and other health establishments to prevent hospital and healthcare-associated sepsis by following proper hand hygiene protocols.

What Does Sepsis Mean?

Sepsis is known as a potentially life-threatening complication of an infection. It usually occurs as backfire from when defenses in the form of chemicals are released into the bloodstream to fight the disease, but instead, they start an inflammatory response all over the body.

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World Hand Hygiene Day

Left untreated or unrecognized at the earliest, this sepsis can lead to septic shock, multiple organ failures, and even death. The situation is particularly dim in low- and middle-income countries where this counts for most of the maternal and neonatal morbidity and mortality. Anyone can develop sepsis.

Key Facts

  • Every year 30 million people worldwide get affected by sepsis.
  • Nearly 1.2 million new-borns and 2 million children are also affected by this complication.
  • It kills nearly 6 million people and 500,000 new-borns every year.
  • One in ten maternal deaths are because of sepsis.

Who Is At Risk?

  • Pregnant women
  • New-born babies
  • Elderly
  • Individuals whose immune system is already compromised
  • Patients who are hospitalized
  • Individuals who are suffering from multiple chronic diseases.

How Can We Prevent Sepsis?

As a community, sepsis/infections can be prevented by
  • Practicing good hygiene. Washing hands with soap can decrease the risk of diarrheal infections by forty percent.
  • Global disease burden was reduced by ten percent when good water and sanitation was maintained.
  • Good nutrition and safe food preparation can reduce fifty percent of diarrheal diseases in infants and thirty percent of respiratory diseases in children
  • Getting vaccinations- It can prevent 2-3 million deaths every year.
Among the healthcare professionals, sepsis can be prevented by
  • Practicing the standard five moments of hand hygiene routine which can reduce infections by fifty percent.
  • Maintaining a clean environment and well functioning equipment.
  • Having safe water and sanitation
  • Having infection control programme and teams. It can reduce the infections by thirty
Let's join our "clean" hands to prevent sepsis.

References :
  1. World Hand Hygiene Day - (http://www.emro.who.int/media/news/world-hand-hygiene-day-2018.html)
  2. Improving the prevention, diagnosis and clinical management of sepsis - (http://www.who.int/servicedeliverysafety/areas/sepsis/en/#fn2)

Source: Medindia

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