On each square centimetre of your skin, there are around 1,500 bacteria.
Are you surprised?
One of the most basic hygiene practices in day-to-day life is to wash your hands; but all too often, it’s neglected.
A recent survey showed that up to 60% of commuters have faecal bacteria on their fingers, with those travelling by bus having the grubbiest digits; however, with bacteria being invisible unless it’s concealed in dirt, it may be a little too easy to overlook.
World Hand Hygiene Day (5th May 2018) highlighted the importance of hand hygiene in health care settings.
Where office workers may choose to abandon simple cleanliness, a medical worker has no such option.
Clean hands are essential to an effective infection control strategy, with gloves, antibacterial soaps and sanitizing gels underpinning safe contact with patients and service users.
This year, World Hand Hygiene Day focused on the prevention of sepsis – a devastating illness which is estimated to effect more than 30 million patients every year, with global rates still rising.
Sepsis is a life-threatening condition. It occurs when infection-fighting chemicals in the immune system go into overdrive, leading to widespread inflammation and blood clotting. The infection can result in organ failure, with severe sepsis or septic shock seeing a mortality rate of 40-60%.
Unfortunately, sepsis is often acquired in a clinical setting when receiving other healthcare. However, the likelihood of developing the infection can be significantly reduced when clinicians abide by a strict infection control policy. Hand hygiene is critical to such procedures, with responsibility sitting firmly with those providing care.
How can caregivers ensure adequate hand hygiene?
Hand washing is the obvious answer and should be scrupulously adhered to.
The National Patient Safety Agency advises the ‘5 Moments for Hand Hygiene’ as the most basic hand-sanitizing requirement: before patient contact, before a clean/aseptic procedure, after body fluid exposure risk, after patient contact and after contact with patient surroundings.
When managing the disposal of human waste this can be a little more complicated.
Although nurses and carers can feasibly wash their hands before and after patient contact, transporting human waste containers from the user to the disposal unit involves a cross-contamination risk.
To help reduce the danger of spreading infection when touching bedpans, macerators and washer disinfectors, DDC Dolphin has developed patented hands-free technology.
This technology allows machines to be operated without touching any buttons or levers, so the risk of bacteria travelling between users is significantly reduced.
All DDC Dolphin pulp and incontinence macerators use motion-sensor technology to keep interaction touch-free, while our washer disinfectors offer hands-free foot cup opening and elbow buttons to minimize contact.
In addition, we can provide full training to your nursing and care staff, to help ensure that excellent sanitation standards are upheld on the front line of your facility.
When actioned alongside a proactive infection control strategy, our products can make a critical difference to preventing fatal infections like sepsis and upholding exceptional hand hygiene.