We all know that frequent hand washing is a vital step in keeping ourselves and our belongings germ-free and healthy, but hand hygiene goes beyond just the basics of personal grooming; it can and does, save lives.

Whether at home, in the office, at the park or at the clinic, it is important to realise that proper hand hygiene practices could have major impacts in regard to your health. In this blog, we’ll explore the top tips for keeping your hands germ-free, and the repercussions of poor hand hygiene.

Dangers

Each day, as many as 500,000 patients at hospital facilities around the world acquire nosocomial infections – also known as hospital-acquired infections (HAI) – resulting in a startling 20,000 to 50,000 deaths, or more than AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined.

The most common of these infections are urinary tract infections, respiratory pneumonia, surgical site wound infections, and bacteremia, gastrointestinal and bloodstream skin infections. Because antibiotics are used frequently within hospital settings, these types of bacteria often develop a different resistance to antibiotics than they would outside of a hospital, making them especially difficult to treat. In the USA alone, approximately 99,000 people per year die as a result of infections acquired within hospitals, leading to an estimated $20 billion in healthcare costs.

It was found that the use of alcohol-based solutions in hospitals reduces the number of nosocomial infections and deaths by 50%, and “hand washing with soap can reduce death rates from pneumonia and diarrhoea by up to 65%” in children under 5 years old.

On a more personal, everyday level, increased hand hygiene in your home often leads to less sick days and time taken off of work for a preventable illness. If you and your family are often sick, consider instituting new hand washing practices for everyone, which could make a real difference in your overall health.

How to Avoid

While it was recently reported that only 1 in 20 people wash their hands properly after going to the toilet, the introduction of proper hand washing education within communities can lead to a reduction of the number of people who get sick with diarrhoea by 31%, and respiratory illnesses such as colds by 16-21%.

Germs from unwashed hands can be transferred to handrails, tables, toys, office supplies, money, and food and drinks, among other things, and is frequently transferred to individuals when they touch their eyes, nose and mouth. This can be avoided by washing your hands with antibacterial soap for 45 to 60 seconds or hand sanitising for 30 to 45 seconds after using the toilet, before and after eating, after handling animals, after handling rubbish, after smoking, and after attending to sick children or adults.

The XO2 Hand Soap Range is an excellent choice for your hand hygiene program – and combined with our Touch Free Paper Hand Towel Dispenser, makes for a great start to top-notch hand hygiene in your business.

For more information about hand hygiene and the proper products to reduce your risk of the spread of germs, please contact us on 1300 123 499 to learn how we can help.