A SIMPLE, but essential gesture: to wash hands accurately. It is necessary for the prevention of infections, in hospitals and beyond. It also helps reduce the spread of communicable diseases such as Covid-19. As a reminder, the World Health Organization (WHO) is promoting World Hand Hygiene Day today, May 5. The Italian Dermatological Institute Irccs, which organized a series of initiatives aimed at raising awareness among patients on the occasion of this day, took on and relaunched the message.
Infections in the hospital
“In Italy it is estimated that 5-8% of patients admitted to health facilities can contract a hospital infection – he recalls Annarita Panebianco, Health Director Idi Irccs – and even if not all healthcare-related infections are preventable, it is estimated that at least half could be avoided. “For the occasion, a stand manned by doctors will be set up inside the Roman hospital and nurses who, with the help of prepared information material, will illustrate how, in the care field, but also in everyday life, washing hands correctly prevents the transmission of microorganisms responsible for numerous infectious diseases, flu and colds , to more severe ones such as health care-related resistant bacterial infections.
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Recommendations all the more necessary in full pandemic emergency. “It is of fundamental importance – continues Panebianco – to pay attention in the practice of careful hand washing, at home, in health centers, in the community, in order to avoid the transmission of Sars-Cov-2 and limit the risk of co-infection with other microorganisms “. Clean health care is also one of the challenges to be faced in achieving the Agenda 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.
The latter save life
This year the slogan chosen for the World Hand Hygiene Day is “Seconds save lives. Sanitize your hands! (Http://www.who.int/en/). In the year of the pandemic, washing hands with water and soap or hydroalcoholic gel has been and still is one of the most important individual protection measures to defend against the contagion of the new coronavirus.
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The importance of this gesture also for the control of hospital infections is at the center of the awareness-raising initiatives promoted by the Agostino Gemelli IRCCS University Hospital Foundation on the occasion of the World Day. Involved the entire hospital and university community of Gemelli and of the Catholic University.
The hands, in fact, represent the main means of transmission of pathogenic germs. “Hand washing remains the fundamental measure that alone is able to reduce nosocomial infections by 30, 40 percent. It is of great importance – said the professor. Patrizia Laurenti, associate professor of Hygiene at the Catholic University and head of the Hospital Hygiene Unit of the A. Gemelli IRCCS University Hospital – but this is not yet known. The pandemic has helped us reinforce this hand-cleaning action. We hope that even in post Covid 19 this attention remains high “.