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Hand Hygiene Guidelines

Infection Prevention and Control Issues

Clean hands

Over four million people in the EU acquire a Healthcare Associated Infection (HAI) every year, of whom approximately 37,000 die as a direct result of the infection (Health Protection Agency 2011).

Effective Hand Hygiene is the single most important factor to reduce the spread of HAI's (National Patient Safety Agency 2008).

Local hand hygiene policies should be located through the organisation you are working for and can generally be found in clinical areas either in paper form or on an intranet site.

5 Moments for Hand Hygiene (WHO 2009)

The My 5 Moments for Hand Hygiene approach defines the key moments when health-care workers should perform hand hygiene. It is applicable in all settings.

Health-care workers should clean their hands:

1. before touching a patient,
2. before clean/aseptic procedures,
3. after body fluid exposure/risk,
4. after touching a patient, and
5. after touching patient surroundings.

(WHO 2009)