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The importance of handwashing

11 March 2020

Germs and bacteria are everywhere and can easily transfer from object to person, person to object and person to person. Washing hands correctly can prevent the spread of those germs and reduce the spread of infection. 

Handwashing has proven benefits dating back to the 1800s. Hungarian physician Ignaz P. Semmelweis found that physicians who washed their hands prevented mothers from dying after giving birth. Ignaz P. Semmelweis’s discovery changed the way hospitals looked at cleanliness and hygiene.

Since then evidence repeatedly shows that hands play a major role in spreading bacteria. In healthcare, it means that it doesn’t matter how advanced technology gets to prevent infections. If we do not wash our hands, it may reverse the whole process.

Practising good hand hygiene prevents the spread of health-associated infections by 40%*. With that in mind, it makes good hand hygiene vital. One of the main ways to combat this and reduce infections is the most simple - by making sure your hands are clean. While handwashing is not the only way to reduce this, it is one of the most important. It is simple and inexpensive.

The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention states that you should wash your hands:

  • Before, during, and after preparing food
  • Before eating food
  • Before and after caring for someone at home who is sick with vomiting or diarrhoea
  • Before and after treating a cut or wound
  • After using the toilet
  • After changing diapers/nappies or cleaning up a child who has used the toilet
  • After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
  • After touching an animal, animal feed, or animal waste
  • After handling pet food or pet treats
  • After touching rubbish or waste

Touch free solutions provide higher hand hygiene

In public environments, anything that is touched regularly is a hot spot for germs and bacteria. As places in healthcare look for ways to ensure the highest standard of hygiene, touch free solutions are becoming more popular. Touch free dispensers are removing common contact points, which are breeding grounds for bacteria. Their use, therefore, maximises infection control by preventing cross-contamination between users.

Brightwell Dispensers, for example, provide solutions that help remove these contact points. Their Modular Touch Free dispenses soap without the user needing to touch the dispenser. This removes contact with frequently touched points where bacteria can transfer.

Even with the right solutions in place, it is counterproductive when we don’t dry our hands as damp skin spreads bacteria as well. In places such as hospitals, people are more vulnerable to infection, making thorough hand drying integral to preventing the spread of germs.

For hand drying, Brightwell Dispensers also offer the Modular Autocut Dispenser. The Autocut is an alternative to the standard paper dispenser as users can dispense paper towels without touching the dispenser, making it the utmost in hygiene. Businesses also see benefits including cost-savings and reduced waste as the unit dispenses one sheet of paper at a time.

Touch free products provide huge benefits. They are a cost-effective, safer and more hygienic solution.

For more information on how we can help your business, contact us today. 

 

*Sources –
WHO
CDC
ResearchGate
http://www.who.int/gpsc/tools/faqs/evidence_hand_hygiene/en/