Washing Hands "Easier Said Than Done"

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Information about Washing Hands "Easier Said Than Done"
Health & Medicine

Published on May 7, 2009

Author: Medifix

Source: slideshare.net


Spreading MRSA, CA-MRSA< C Diff & Swine flu infections threaten our existance. Healthcare officials and organisations are vigerously promoting hand washing technique.
This article is to present existing problems nurses and doctors encounter. We have no alternative treatment but must be very careful what we say and preach.

quot;Easier said than donequot; By Dr Kadiyali M Srivatsa Heath authorities and Health Protection Agency (UK) are yet again wasting time and money talking about washing hand as the only solution to end the crisis of spreading hospital infection. Biocides (disinfectants and antiseptics), are universally used in hospitals to clean surfaces, sterilise medical instruments, wash hands and equipment, and de-contaminate skin before surgery. At the right levels, the chemicals destroy most microorganisms but if weak doses are used the bugs can survive and grow stronger (1). Bacterial count is said to increase when you wash hands more than ten times every day. Hand washing has now been linked to dermatitis, increased bacterial count in hands and colonization of antibiotic resistance developing in the hands of healthcare workers. Study found that dry nurses' hands were twice as likely to be colonized by bacteria. Some bacteria with a genetic pre-disposition to resistance to antibiotic properties will survive. When these resistant bacteria divide, they pass their resistance on, creating entire colonies of antibiotic-resistant bacteria colonized in the healthcare worker’s hands (2). Using alcohol gel is not the answer because the low concentration kills good bacteria and help resistant once to grow stronger. Washing hands using soap & water for thirty seconds to one minute (duration - singing happy birthday song help) is important. Observation of quot;Drying Timequot; before injecting a needle through skin, is not well publicised in UK (2). Most healthcare workers forget the gloves will be contaminated if they touch any part of patient’s skin. Vigorously rubbing swab on the skin and then touching this sterilised skin-using index finger to palpate a vein can make the area un-sterile (3). Although aseptic technique is critical to reduce spreading infections (4), it is infrequently taught and audited. Skin cleaning is often incomplete, & many attendants still palpate with non- sterile gloves the venipuncture site before needle insertion. 58% of healthcare workers are said to be colonized with MRSA. (5) Swine flu is likely to bring medical profession down on our knees because the number of children who have died last year common flu epidemic in USA were from a combination of influenza infection and bacterial pneumonia – 64% of these cases were due to the super bug methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). The increase is said to be five folds since 2004 (6). We need to be very meticulous and observant before blaming or pointing our fingers at cleaners for spreading infection knowing they are not trained clinicians or nurses. We must watch what we do and not expect miracles cure to end this war with bugs. I feel ethically uncomfortable when puncturing a skin of a patient knowing this simple procedure could help entry of Antibiotic resistant bacteria that could kill. Reference: 1. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/3141079/Hospital-bacteria-such-as-MRSA-becoming-resistant-to-disinfectants.html 2. http://www.retrieverweekly.com/?module=displaystory&story_id=3960&format=html 3. http://www.medifix.org/safec/files/Canada%20Nurse%20Reduce_Vascular_Access_Complications.pdf 4. http://www.medifix.org/safec/files/reduceinf.pdf 5. http://www.slideshare.net/jben501/intravenous-therapy-1166327 6. http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/cidrap/content/influenza/general/news/oct0708flumrsa.html

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