Disinfection

Combatting sepsis: With hand hygiene and targeted strategies.

On this year’s World Hand Hygiene Day on 5 May 2018, the World Health Organization (WHO) focuses on the prevention of life-threatening sepsis. 

As member of WHO’s Private Organisation for Patient Safety (POPS), also this year HARTMANN supports the hand hygiene awareness campaign.
Many people still underestimate sepsis, although the figures send a clear signal: every year, approximately 31 million people throughout the world fall ill with sepsis. And for six million people, the blood poisoning is lethal. The disease’s explosive nature: it can affect anyone. Even a minor injury or a seemingly small procedure can cause an inflammation and thus a life-threatening sepsis. Experts agree: this critical situation requires committed action – globally.

Hence, WHO devoted this year’s World Hand Hygiene Day on 5 May 2018 to the prevention of sepsis. And thus, also fulfils the demands of the World Health Assembly (WHA) that in its resolution from 26 May 2017 declared improved prevention, diagnosis and treatment of sepsis to be a global priority. Under the banner “It’s in your hands – prevent sepsis in health care” WHO calls on all parties involved in health care to actively prevent the risk of sepsis. Because: hand hygiene is an important lever to prevent the threatening disease. Every infection prevented at the same time reduces the risk to acquire a sepsis.

20 465 healthcare facilities in 179 countries

Although there is no doubt that hand hygiene is the most important individual infection control measure, its implementation is still inadequate. According to WHO, the average hand hygiene compliance is 38.7 % worldwide. To address this problem in a comprehensive way, WHO calls on those responsible in healthcare facilities to participate in the World Hand Hygiene Day campaign. Until February of this year, a total of 20 465 facilities in 179 countries had followed this plea. This is equivalent to twelve million healthcare workers and almost five million beds.

WHO addresses all stakeholders in healthcare facilities via Twitter, with videos, posters, banners and many information materials. 
WHO’s calls to action for the World Hand Hygiene Day are:

Infection control practitioners & hygienists: “Be a champion in promoting hand hygiene to prevent sepsis in health care.”

Healthcare workers: “Take 5 Moments to clean your hands to prevent sepsis in health care.”

Hospital management: “Prevent sepsis in health care, make hand hygiene a quality indicator in your hospital.”

Ministries of health: “Implement the 2017 WHA sepsis resolution. Make hand hygiene a national marker of healthcare quality.”

Patient advocates: “Ask for 5 Moments of clean hands to prevent sepsis in health care.”
 

Skin-friendly hand disinfection and optimised work processes

As member of WHO’s Private Organisation for Patient Safety (POPS), also this year HARTMANN supports the hand hygiene awareness campaign. For this, HARTMANN currently focuses on two approaches: hand disinfection with a skin-friendly rub and hygienically optimised work processes for frequent nursing activities. 

In fact, particularly skin-friendly hand disinfectants contribute to increasing hand hygiene compliance. The reason: well-tolerated hand rubs with skincare additives such as the hand disinfectants from HARTMANN are gladly and more reliably used in healthcare facilities. Additionally, the skin hydration is enhanced when the HARTMANN products are used regularly.

As another lever to improve hand hygiene and to prevent sepsis, HARTMANN supports the establishment of optimised working processes in hospitals and clinics. Healthcare workers learn the necessary hygiene measures on the basis of concrete procedures for common nursing activities. Thus, the employees gain experience and certainty. This is confirmed by the results of a study: a standardised process for placing a peripheral venous catheter could increase the compliance by 45 % and thus reduce the risk of nosocomial infection and possibly resulting sepsis.

On the occasion of 5 May 2018, HARTMANN has therefore prepared an extensive promotional package with brochures, campaign flyers, eye-catching posters and postcards as well as a special jigsaw puzzle. Healthcare workers shall be encouraged to actively participate in this year’s World Hand Hygiene Day.
A special highlight: HARTMANN’s interactive online game for placing a peripheral venous catheter (PVC) in a perfectly hygienic way. Join in now. 

Further information on the campaign “It’s in your hands – prevent sepsis in health care” is available on WHO’s website.