Clean care for all - It's in your hands
Hand hygiene is a life-saving factor in pre-hospital care. CAA member services, in-conjunction with the World Health Organisation (WHO) are raising awareness of the iportance of hand hygiene in preventing the spread of disease.
While five moments of hand hygiene apply across the health sector, these moments have been amended slightly, in recognition of the settings in which paramedics work.
Overuse of gloves can reduce hand hygiene and increase cross infection.
Gloves do not have to be worn for every moment when in contact with a patient.
If gloves are worn continuously, it means hands are not cleaned at appropriate times and the risk of infection increases for paramedics and patients.
Gloves should be worn to primarily protect paramedics from patients’ blood and body fluids – not their skin
5 PRINCIPLES TO REMEMBER:
1. 1 in 10 patients get an infection while receiving care
2. Hand hygiene products should be carried at all times during a shift
3. Use gloves when in contact with blood or body fluids – apply hand hygiene steps when gloves are removed
4. Germs are usually invisible even when hands appear clean
5. Hand hygiene is the single most important factor in reducing health care acquired infections
WHY IS 5/5 HAND HYGIENE SO IMPORTANT?
In the pre-hospital setting, poor hand hygiene can cause infections, which in some circumstances can lead to death.
Emergency medical workers, including paramedics who consistently encounter many patients every day, risk transmitting harmful microbes without properly sanitized hands.
Contamination can occur from patient contact or via the environment in which the patient is being treated, including an ambulance.
The spread of infection can be stopped by complying with the five moments of hand hygiene before and after every patient encounter.
The five steps will protect working paramedics, patients and the area of treatment from the spread of germs.
Five Moments for Hand Hygiene help keep paramedics, patients and their families, safe from infection.