WHO: 4 things to know about hand hygiene

Health workers failing to make hand hygiene compliance a priority may put patients' health at risk.

Here are four things to know about hand hygiene from the World Health Organization:

1. Hands are the primary germ transmitter in healthcare settings.

2. If a healthcare worker is exposed to pathogens like Clostridium difficile, studies show hand washing with soap and water is an effective prevention tool.

3. Hand washing should take between 40 seconds and 60 seconds, with WHO noting employees should not wear artificial fingernails or extenders when making direct contact with patients.

4. WHO has "5 Moments" which lays out five scenarios when a worker should wash their hands even if they use gloves. These include:
● Before touching a patient
● Before clean/aseptic procedure
● After body fluid exposure risk
● After toying a patient
● After touching patient surroundings

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