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When Did Healthcare Workers First Use Chlorine?

When Did Healthcare Workers First Use Chlorine
Hand hygiene basin at the Lying-In Women’s Hospital in Vienna, 1847. In May 1847 Semmelweiss insisted that students and physicians clean their hands with a chlorine solution, similar to the one pictured here, between each patient in the clinic.

What did the 1995 hand hygiene focus on?

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Pittet D, Mourouga P, Perneger TV. Compliance with handwashing in a teaching hospital: infection control program. Ann Intern Med.1999; 130 :126–30.38. Sax H, Uckay I, Richet H, Aegranzi B, Pittet D. Determinants of good adherence to Hand Hygiene among healthcare workers who have extensive exposure to Hand Hygiene campaigns.

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Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol.2009; 30 :415–9.40. Schneider J, Moromisato D, Zemetra B, Rizziwagner L, Rivero N, Mason W. Hand hygiene adherence is influenced by the behavior of role models. Pediatr Crit Care Med.2009; 10 :1–5.41. Pittet D. Improving adherence to hand hygiene practice: A multidisciplinary approach.

Emerg Infect Dis.2001; 7 :234–40.42. Sjoberg S, Eriksson M. Hand disinfectant practice: the impact of an education intervention. Open Nurs J.2010; 4 :20–4.43. Rykkje L, Heggelund A, Harthug S. Improved hand hygiene through simple interventions. Tidsskr Nor Laegeforen.2007; 127 :861–3.45. Pitet D, et al. Cost implications of successful hand hygiene promotion.

Infect Cont Hosp Epidemiol.2004; 25 :264–6.46. Erasmus V, Daha TJ, Brug H, et al. Systematic review of studies on compliance with hand hygiene guideline in hospital care. Inf Control Hosp Epidemiol.2010; 31 :283–94.47. O’Boyle CA, Henly SJ, Larson E. Understanding adherence to hand hygiene recommendations: the theory of planned behavior.

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Prevention and control of healthcare associated infections through improved hand hygiene. Indian J Med Microbiol.2010; 28 :100–6.55. Handwashing Liason Group. Handwashing a modern measure with big effects. Br Med J.1999; 318 :686.56. Feather A, Stone SP, Weisser A, Boursicot KA, Pratt C. Now please wash your hands: the handwashing behaviour of final MBBS candidates.

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Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol.2010; 31 :133–41. Articles from The Indian Journal of Medical Research are provided here courtesy of Wolters Kluwer – Medknow Publications

Who introduced antiseptic agent for hand hygiene?

This intervention by Semmelweis represents the first evidence indicating that cleansing heavily contaminated hands with an antiseptic agent between patient contacts may reduce health-care–associated transmission of contagious dis- eases more effectively than handwashing with plain soap and water.

When was hand hygiene introduced?

Handwashing has been a central component of personal hygiene and a religious and cultural custom for many years. However, the link between handwashing and health was first made less than two centuries ago. – When Did Healthcare Workers First Use Chlorine Schoolchildren washing their hands before eating lunch in the 1940s. Ignaz Semmelweis, a Hungarian doctor working in Vienna General Hospital, is known as the father of hand hygiene. In 1846, he noticed that the women giving birth in the medical student/doctor-run maternity ward in his hospital were much more likely to develop a fever and die compared to the women giving birth in the adjacent midwife-run maternity ward.

He decided to investigate, seeking differences between the two wards. He noticed that doctors and medical students often visited the maternity ward directly after performing an autopsy. Based on this observation, he developed a theory that those performing autopsies got ‘cadaverous particles’ on their hands, which they then carried from the autopsy room into the maternity ward.

Midwives did not conduct surgery or autopsies, so they were not exposed to these particles. As a result, Semmelweis imposed a new rule mandating handwashing with chlorine for doctors. The rates of death in his maternity ward fell dramatically. This was the first proof that cleansing hands could prevent infection.

However, the innovation was not popular with everyone: some doctors were disgruntled that Semmelweis was implying that they were to blame for the deaths and they stopped washing their hands, arguing in support of the prevailing notion at that time that water was the potential cause of disease. Semmelweis tried to persuade other doctors in European hospitals of the benefits of handwashing, but to no avail.

A few years later in Scutari, Italy, the Crimean War brought about a new handwashing champion, Florence Nightingale. At a time when most people believed that infections were caused by foul odors called miasmas, Florence Nightingale implemented handwashing and other hygiene practices in the war hospital in which she worked.

While the target of these practices was to fight the miasmas, Nightingale’s handwashing practices achieved a reduction in infections. Sadly, the hand hygiene practices promoted by Semmelweis and Nightingale were not widely adopted. In general, handwashing promotion stood still for over a century. It was not until the 1980s, when a string of foodborne outbreaks and healthcare-associated infections led to public concern that the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention identified hand hygiene as an important way to prevent the spread of infection.

In doing so, they heralded the first nationally endorsed hand hygiene guidelines, and many more have followed. In recent years, handwashing with soap and other forms of hand hygiene have been gaining recognition as a cost-effective, essential tool for achieving good health and nutrition.

Now that its effectiveness is no longer in question, the main focus is on how to make handwashing universal. This challenge–sustained handwashing practice at key times–is being met with new thinking about behavior change, such as habit formation and nudges, increased research into the impact of hygiene, and collaboration in organizations such as the Global Handwashing Partnership.

Everyone can promote good handwashing behavior. See our for posters and tools or plan a celebration. Have questions about how you can be involved? ! : The Global Handwashing Partnership

Who introduced hand washing in hospitals?

Life and Work – Born in Hungary in 1818, Semmelweis (Fig. ​ 1 ) graduated from Vienna Medical School in 1844. He specialized in obstetrics and worked in Vienna General Hospital, In nineteenth century Europe, childbed fever (puerperal fever) was an important clinical and public health problem, with very high maternal mortality. Ignac Semmelweis (1818–1865) The hospital had two maternity clinics, In first clinic, all deliveries were by physicians and medical students, and in second clinic, all were by midwives. Maternal mortality in the first clinic was unexpectedly higher, 16% compared with 7% in the second clinic.

  • In the first clinic, physicians and medical students started their day by doing autopsies on women who had died on the previous night.
  • From the autopsy room, they proceeded directly to labor room, with no cleaning of their hands, and delivered babies for the rest of the day (surgical gloves were not invented yet; all clinical procedures were done with bare hands).

Midwives of the second clinic never conducted autopsies. During this time, Semmelweis’ friend and colleague Kolletschka died due to overwhelming wound infection of an accidental laceration sustained during one of childbed fever autopsies. Kolletschka’s autopsy findings were similar to those in childbed fever women.

  1. Semmelweis suspected a common link between these deaths.
  2. He hypothesized that certain “death particles” from body tissues of deceased, stuck to the hands of physicians and medical students during autopsies; their unclean hands carried and transferred these particles to women in labor.
  3. Presumably these particles caused childbed fever deaths.

Adequate hand washing by physicians and medical students might reduce the transmission of these death particles. He designed and implemented a hand-washing policy for physicians and medical students. Before they entered labor room, they were forced to brush under their fingernails and wash their hands in chlorine water till the skin became dry and cadaveric smell was gone.

  • At the end of 1 year, mortality rate in the first clinic dropped to 2.4%, a rate similar to that seen in the second clinic,
  • Semmelweis thus established causality of childbed fever by demonstrating a strong, specific temporal association with unclean hands in 1847, without even knowing about the exact etiological agent.

But to Semmelweis’ seniors, this association seemed implausible and incoherent. They doubted the existence of death particles and rejected the idea of their transmission through “unholy” hands of “holy” physicians. Semmelweis with his undiplomatic behavior made more professional enemies than friends in Vienna and had to leave for Budapest to work in a city hospital for the rest of his life.

Semmelweis published a book “Etiology, the concept, and the prevention of puerperal fever” in 1860, after 13 years of his study. The book had an unwelcome response; it was criticized for poor language and unprofessional writing style. Semmelweis could not tolerate the criticism and suffered with bouts of depression, rage, paranoia, and forgetfulness.

He ended up in a mental asylum and died in 1865, Semmelweis’ contribution was recognized 20 years after his death as the medical world became more receptive and wiser after germ theory of disease by Louis Pasteur and concept of antisepsis by Joseph Lister.

What were the guidelines for hand hygiene until 1995?

Until 1995, guidelines for hand hygiene in the United States focused on the use of: Plain soap and water. Early hand hygiene guidelines in the U.S. focused on the use of plain soap and water. When did healthcare workers first use chlorine solution to decontaminate their hands?

What finally convinced doctors to wash their hands?

When Did Healthcare Workers First Use Chlorine Ignaz Semmelweis washing his hands in chlorinated lime water before operating. Bettmann/Corbis hide caption toggle caption Bettmann/Corbis When Did Healthcare Workers First Use Chlorine Ignaz Semmelweis washing his hands in chlorinated lime water before operating. Bettmann/Corbis This is the story of a man whose ideas could have saved a lot of lives and spared countless numbers of women and newborns’ feverish and agonizing deaths. You’ll notice I said “could have.” The year was 1846, and our would-be hero was a Hungarian doctor named Ignaz Semmelweis, When Did Healthcare Workers First Use Chlorine Semmelweis considered scientific inquiry part of his mission as a physician. De Agostini Picture Library/Getty Images hide caption toggle caption De Agostini Picture Library/Getty Images When Did Healthcare Workers First Use Chlorine Semmelweis considered scientific inquiry part of his mission as a physician. De Agostini Picture Library/Getty Images It was a time Lessler describes as “the start of the golden age of the physician scientist,” when physicians were expected to have scientific training.

So doctors like Semmelweis were no longer thinking of illness as an imbalance caused by bad air or evil spirits. They looked instead to anatomy. Autopsies became more common, and doctors got interested in numbers and collecting data. The young Dr. Semmelweis was no exception. When he showed up for his new job in the maternity clinic at the General Hospital in Vienna, he started collecting some data of his own.

Semmelweis wanted to figure out why so many women in maternity wards were dying from puerperal feve r — commonly known as childbed fever. He studied two maternity wards in the hospital. One was staffed by all male doctors and medical students, and the other was staffed by female midwives. When Did Healthcare Workers First Use Chlorine At Vienna General Hospital, women were much more likely to die after childbirth if a male doctor attended, compared to a midwife. Josef and Peter Schafer/Wikipedia hide caption toggle caption Josef and Peter Schafer/Wikipedia When Did Healthcare Workers First Use Chlorine At Vienna General Hospital, women were much more likely to die after childbirth if a male doctor attended, compared to a midwife. Josef and Peter Schafer/Wikipedia Semmelweis went through the differences between the two wards and started ruling out ideas.

Right away he discovered a big difference between the two clinics. In the midwives’ clinic, women gave birth on their sides. In the doctors’ clinic, women gave birth on their backs. So he had women in the doctors’ clinic give birth on their sides. The result, Lessler says, was “no effect.” Then Semmelweis noticed that whenever someone on the ward died of childbed fever, a priest would walk slowly through the doctors’ clinic, past the women’s beds with an attendant ringing a bell.

This time Semmelweis theorized that the priest and the bell ringing so terrified the women after birth that they developed a fever, got sick and died. So Semmelweis had the priest change his route and ditch the bell. Lessler says, “It had no effect.” By now, Semmelweis was frustrated. He took a leave from his hospital duties and traveled to Venice. He hoped the break and a good dose of art would clear his head.

When Semmelweis got back to the hospital, some sad but important news was waiting for him. One of his colleagues, a pathologist, had fallen ill and died. It was a common occurrence, according to Jacalyn Duffin, who teaches the history of medicine at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. “This often happened to the pathologists,” Duffin says.

“There was nothing new about the way he died. He pricked his finger while doing an autopsy on someone who had died from childbed fever.” And then he got very sick himself and died. Semmelweis studied the pathologist’s symptoms and realized the pathologist died from the same thing as the women he had autopsied.

  1. This was a revelation: Childbed fever wasn’t something only women in childbirth got sick from.
  2. It was something other people in the hospital could get sick from as well.
  3. But it still didn’t answer Semmelweis’ original question: “Why were more women dying from childbed fever in the doctors’ clinic than in the midwives’ clinic?” Duffin says the death of the pathologist offered him a clue.
See also:  What Is Mandatory Reporting In Healthcare?

“The big difference between the doctors’ ward and the midwives’ ward is that the doctors were doing autopsies and the midwives weren’t,” she says. So Semmelweis hypothesized that there were cadaverous particles, little pieces of corpse, that students were getting on their hands from the cadavers they dissected. If Semmelweis’ hypothesis was correct, getting rid of those cadaverous particles should cut down on the death rate from childbed fever. So he ordered his medical staff to start cleaning their hands and instruments not just with soap but with a chlorine solution.

  1. Chlorine, as we know today, is about the best disinfectant there is.
  2. Semmelweis didn’t know anything about germs.
  3. He chose the chlorine because he thought it would be the best way to get rid of any smell left behind by those little bits of corpse.
  4. And when he imposed this, the rate of childbed fever fell dramatically.

What Semmelweis had discovered is something that still holds true today: Hand-washing is one of the most important tools in public health. It can keep kids from getting the flu, prevent the spread of disease and keep infections at bay. You’d think everyone would be thrilled.

Semmelweis had solved the problem! But they weren’t thrilled. For one thing, doctors were upset because Semmelweis’ hypothesis made it look like they were the ones giving childbed fever to the women. And Semmelweis was not very tactful. He publicly berated people who disagreed with him and made some influential enemies.

Eventually the doctors gave up the chlorine hand-washing, and Semmelweis — he lost his job. Semmelweis kept trying to convince doctors in other parts of Europe to wash with chlorine, but no one would listen to him. Even today, convincing health care providers to take hand-washing seriously is a challenge.

Hundreds of thousands of hospital patients get infections each year, infections that can be deadly and hard to treat. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says hand hygiene is one of the most important ways to prevent these infections. Over the years, Semmelweis got angrier and eventually even strange.

There’s been speculation he developed a mental condition brought on by possibly syphilis or even Alzheimer’s. And in 1865, when he was only 47 years old, Ignaz Semmelweis was committed to a mental asylum. The sad end to the story is that Semmelweis was probably beaten in the asylum and eventually died of sepsis, a potentially fatal complication of an infection in the bloodstream — basically, it’s the same disease Semmelweis fought so hard to prevent in those women who died from childbed fever.

Who used the first disinfectant?

We take surgery for granted, but not so long ago even the smallest procedure could be deadly if infection entered the body. Antisepsis gave us a way to prevent surgical infections and make surgery safe. Antisepsis is the method of using chemicals, called antiseptics, to destroy the germs that cause infections. It was developed by the British surgeon Joseph Lister. Joseph Lister, 1827–1912.

Joseph Lister found a way to prevent infection in wounds during and after surgery. He was the first to apply the science of Germ Theory to surgery. Lister’s Antisepsis System is the basis of modern infection control. His principles made surgery safe and continue to save countless lives.

Read more about the life of Joseph Lister

What do surgeons clean their hands with?

The importance of washing your hands with a surgical scrub brush Euronda Alle Hands are the easiest way to transmit germs, a small percentage of which are harmless, non-pathogenic micro-organisms usually found on human skin. Other types of germs found in the air and on surfaces, such as viruses and bacteria, are responsible for many diseases, from more frequent and less serious ones—like colds—to those that are more serious.

Some germs survive for hours on surfaces and can enter your eyes, nose and mouth via your hands. Therefore, keeping your hands clean is essential for the prevention of infections, both in social life and in healthcare settings, such as hospitals, clinics and dental practices. Due to the Coronavirus crisis we are currently experiencing, we need to look more closely at this good hygiene practice to prevent contagion and limit the risk of Covid-19 spreading now and in the future.

Hand washing is universally considered a fundamental precautionary measure for the prevention of infections.

  • In healthcare settings, hands must be washed at the 5 key moments defined by the World Health Organization
  • 1. Before touching a patient
  • You must wash your hands before touching a patient, even for standard contact like approaching them or shaking hands
  • 2. Before an aseptic procedure

Using a surgical scrub brush if possible, you must wash your hands just before carrying out any aseptic procedure, e.g. dental cleaning where there is non-intact skin.3. After exposure to body fluid or bioaerosol You must clean your hands (after removing gloves) immediately after potential exposure to bodily fluids or bioaerosol, e.g.

  1. 4. After touching a patient
  2. After touching a patient or being in close proximity to a patient
  3. 5. After touching patient surroundings
  4. After touching any object or item of furniture in the immediate vicinity of the patient, even if the patient has not come into direct contact with it.

Surgical antisepsis of the hands and forearms involves washing thoroughly with antiseptic soap. This is done by all members of the surgery team in direct contact with the aseptic surgical field, in order to reduce bacterial load and transient flora, For maximum accuracy, the operator must ensure the following before washing their hands (CDC 2002/II, WHO 2006/II):

  • Nails are cut short, less than 0.5 cm in length;
  • Various jewellery and accessories, such as watches and rings, are removed as they may harbour micro-organisms capable of contaminating a body with pathogens (CDC 2002/II, WHO 2006/II);

This procedure must be carried out before any basic or highly invasive surgery procedure and at the end of the working day. There are different types of surgical-washing products on the market. Among the most common surgical scrubs are liquid antiseptic or foam soaps used in combination with water and dry surgical scrub brushes, Here’s what to do if you use a dry surgical scrub brush:

  • Wet your hands and forearms up to the elbow joint;
  • Avoid touching the dispenser lever if there is no protective film, and use your elbow to dispense the antiseptic soap;
  • Carry out the surgical scrub and wash your hands and forearms for a few minutes under running water;
  • Rinse your hands first and then your forearms while keeping your hands above your forearms to prevent water from leaking onto your hands;
  • Carefully clean spaces under your nails with a file;
  • Brush nails and cuticles, paying close attention to the areas between your fingers using a dry surgical scrub brush soaked in the antiseptic solution;
  • Finally, drop the brush and file into a designated bin and rinse your hands first, followed by your forearms (keeping your hands above your forearms);
  • Dry your hands and forearms with a sterile drape, starting with your fingers (one at a time), then the palm/back, wrist and finally the forearms up to the elbow joint.

When Did Healthcare Workers First Use Chlorine On the market, there are also sponges and surgical brushes preloaded with chlorhexidine, iodophor or PCMX (chloroxylenol), These are water-based products that do not require antiseptic soap to be added. Here are the steps to follow when using a surgical scrub brush with chlorhexidine :

  • Using water, wet your hands and forearms up to the elbows. Your hands must be held above the elbows at all times;
  • Clean your nails with the file found inside your surgical scrub brush box;
  • Use the sponge to rub your hands and forearms. To get the foam, you need to wet the sponge and wring it out.
  • Only use the brush to rub your nails, cuticles and the areas between your fingers.
  • Finally, drop the brush and file into a designated bin and rinse your hands first, followed by your forearms (keeping your hands above your forearms);
  • Dry your hands and forearms with a sterile drape, starting with your fingers (one at a time), then the palm/back, wrist and finally the forearms up to the elbow joint

When Did Healthcare Workers First Use Chlorine 12 October 2021

: The importance of washing your hands with a surgical scrub brush Euronda Alle

Who started disinfection?

1862 – Louis Pasteur (1822-1895), French chemist and microbiologist In 1862, the Frenchman Louis Pasteur proved that bacteria can only evolve from existing bacterial cells and not from inanimate matter. The chemist developed and pioneered the procedures of disinfection, sterilisation and pasteurisation.

When did European doctors start washing their hands?

One of the best ways to prevent the spread of the flu and other viruses is to wash your hands, Today, this may seem like common sense to many people (even if they don’t all do it properly ). Yet it wasn’t until the mid-19th century that some doctors in the United States and Europe began to wash their hands before examining patients—and even then, only in certain cases.

  • An early proponent of hand washing was Ignaz Semmelweis, a Hungarian doctor who worked at the Vienna General Hospital between 1844 and 1848.
  • The hospital was one of the largest in the world for teaching, and its maternity wing was so big that it was divided into two wards: one for doctors and their students and one for midwives and their students.

Yet there was a stark disparity between these wards. Between 1840 and 1846, the maternal mortality rate for the midwives’ ward was 36.2 per 1000 births, while the mortality rate for the doctors’ ward was 98.4 per 1000 births, according to a 2013 article in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine,

Specifically, the doctors’ ward had a higher rate of “childbed fever,” now known as streptococcal infection. Semmelweis started to look for any differences between the wards. One difference was that in the doctors’ division, a priest regularly passed through and rang a bell as a last sacrament to the dying women, explains Dana Tulodziecki, a philosophy professor at Purdue University who has written about Semmelweis in the journal Philosophy of Science,

Semmelweis wondered if women were dying because of “the psychological terror of hearing the bell—so even if you’re not actually dying, you just hear the bell, you know it could be your time.” Semmelweis rerouted the priest, but it made no difference. ullstein bild/Getty Images Doctor Ignaz Semmelweis Semmelweis realized that, unlike the hospital’s midwives, doctors sometimes examined women in the maternity ward after performing autopsies. In the absence of germ theory, Semmelweis theorized Kolletschka had died because “cadaveric matter” entered his body through his wound, and that women in the doctors’ ward might also be dying because cadaveric matter from doctors’ hands was entering their body through their genitalia.

Although this was incorrect, Semmelweis’ response to his theory was pretty good. He started mandating that doctors wash their hands with chlorinated lime after autopsies. And it was a big improvement—between 1848 and 1859, the maternal mortality rate in the doctors’ ward dropped to around the same level as the midwives’ ward.

After this, the story becomes a little controversial. Previous scholars have argued Semmelweis tried to convince other hospitals to adopt his policies, and that they refused. Tulodziecki says the real story is more complicated. Yes, “doctors weren’t pleased that Semmelweis essentially implied that they were responsible for killing all these women,” she says.

  • Yet “it’s also true that when he finally did publish the etiology of childbed fever, it wasn’t very well-written; it’s kind of rambling in parts.
  • He was also a really stubborn person, very dogmatic.” As she says, “Overall, he could have made his arguments better.” Semmelweis insisted all childbed fever was caused by cadaveric matter or decomposing animal matter, which didn’t make any sense.

Childbed fever was a very old infection that appeared in home births as well as the midwives’ ward at Vienna General Hospital, where cadaveric or decomposing animal matter wasn’t a factor. Making sure doctors washed their hands after autopsies was one way to reduce childbed fever, but Semmelweis alienated his colleagues by insisting it was the only way—which didn’t seem likely to them.

  • In any case, Semmelweis wasn’t the only doctor in the mid-19th century to realize medical professionals’ own hygiene might have some effect on their patients.
  • In 1843, the American doctor Oliver Wendell Holmes published a paper arguing doctors with dirty hands could cause childbed fever in their patients.

The British nurse Florence Nightingale, considered the founder of modern nursing, wrote in her 1860 publication Notes on Nursing that “Every nurse ought to be careful to wash her hands very frequently during the day.” Still, the importance of hand washing for medical professionals didn’t really become understood until scientists hit upon germ theory—the idea that certain diseases and infections are caused by microorganisms we can’t even see.

  1. In particular, the British surgeon Joseph Lister drastically improved patient mortality by advocating that surgeons wash their hands and sterilize their instruments in between patients.
  2. Today, medical and health professionals consider hand washing a critical hygienic practice, both for themselves and their patients.
See also:  What Is Um In Healthcare?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC, even provides guidelines for how to properly wash your hands. To properly kill germs, the CDC advocates scrubbing them with soap for at least 20 seconds before rinsing the soap off with water. Drying them completely is also important, since wet hands spread germs more easily.

When did doctors start disinfecting?

Instruments that come in contact with the body during all surgical procedures and many non-surgical procedures must be free of all microbial elements. This is to ensure that the risk of infection is kept to a minimum. Throughout history different methods were adopted using materials that were available at that time.

  1. In 3000 BC the Egyptians used pitch and tar as antiseptics.
  2. In later years the fumes from burning sulfur were found to cleanse objects of infectious material.
  3. In 1680 a French physicist, Denis Papin invented a pressure cooker that would trap boiling water, convert it into steam, and was found to cleanse objects by cooking them.

This device was further improved upon during the next two hundred years and it became possible to additionally sterilize linens, dressings, gowns using steam. Two major contributions to the art of sterilization came in the 1860’s when the French chemist and microbiologist Louis Pasteur wrote extensively on how germs cause disease and the English physician, Joseph Lister, developed a technique that used carbolic acid as a spray to disinfect instruments.

During the late 1800’s steam sterilization became much more widespread. Surgical instruments were also being made out of materials that were better able to withstand high levels of heat. This allowed them to be processed at higher temperatures and were being made with smooth surfaces which allowed for more thorough cleaning.

During the 1900’s various improvements were introduced. This included sterilization with steam, irradiation, with glutaraldehyde. More recently, sterilization of instruments can be achieved using high temperature / high pressure, ultraviolet light, and the most commonly used chemical for sterilization is ethylene oxide.

It can be used on almost all instruments, both metal and non-metal. The importance of cleanliness when it involves objects that come in contact with the body cannot be stressed enough. It was recognized in ancient times and improvements are still evolving today for the safety of patients. All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

How did they wash hands in the old days?

How Did People In The Past Wash Their Hands, And When Did They Start? Contrary to the popular belief that people in the Middle Ages were disgustingly smelly and dirty, medieval people frequently washed their hands, usually on rising and before and after meals.

This was not just a case of good manners; they were well aware of the link between dirt and illness. Consequently, the 14th-century surgeon John of Arderne required prospective apprentices to have “clene handes and wele shapen nailesclensed fro all blaknes and filthe”. Hand-washing mattered because it was seen to remove both external dirt and harmful bodily excretions.

This dual concern with dirt and bodily excrement continued into the Renaissance. Italian physician Tommaso Rangone (1493–1577) advised that hands must regularly “be cleaned of superfluities, sweat and grime that nature often deposits in those places”.

  1. Other medical writers also recognised that hands could transmit disease, although their concerns focused on skin diseases such as scabies, rather than the more well-known plague.
  2. Therefore, hand-washing was thought to be necessary for good health.
  3. Hands must regularly ‘be cleaned of superfluities, sweat and grime that nature often deposits in those places’ Early modern concerns about hand hygiene often focused on meals, so most people washed before and after eating.

Some advice books insisted that even clean hands must be rewashed at the table, using a basin and ewer, so that everyone else would feel reassured about sharing food. As such, poor hygiene could provoke real repugnance: after dining with his Uncle Wight in 1663, Samuel Pepys recorded that “the very sight of my aunt’s handsdid almost turn my stomach”. 17th-century diarist Samuel Pepys. (Photo by Universal History Archive/Getty Images) Georgian polite society fretted a great deal about servants’ hands, particularly in relation to food preparation and table service. The 18th-century author Eliza Haywood required her maids to wash their hands regularly, and other employers made serving staff keep their hands “in open view, neat and clean”, according to a conduct book of the day.

  1. Jonathan Swift’s Directions to Servants (1745) specifically criticised domestic helpers who prepared salads with unwashed hands after handling meat or visiting the lavatory.
  2. In the 19th century, scientists such as and Joseph Lister made significant advances in germ theory and its practical applications, which explained why hand-washing works in curbing the spread of disease.

Though perhaps lesser known, another important pioneer was the Vienna-based Hungarian obstetrician Ignaz Semmelweis (1818–65), who realised that labouring women caught puerperal fever from doctors who went straight from the morgue to the delivery room. An illustration of Ignaz Semmelweis washing his hands before operating. (Image by Bettmann/Getty Images) This revolutionary new knowledge had surprisingly little immediate impact, partly due to resistance from physicians who resented being blamed for their patients’ deaths.

  • Nevertheless, the following decades saw frequent attempts to persuade the wider public of the value of hand hygiene, the motivations for which were sometimes concerned as much with reaping profits as promoting public health.
  • In the 1920s, the soap manufacturing company Lever Brothers ran a Clean Hands Campaign that urged children to wash their hands “before breakfast, before dinner and after school”.

Their Lifebuoy soap was marketed as the best way to tackle germs, as in in which a father advises his son that “Dirty hands are dangerous”, This wise parent practises what he preaches, using the product several times each day. Adverts such as this had considerable impact, but their message still bears repeating.

Why was Semmelweis ideas not accepted?

Reaction to Semmelweis’ Discovery – Although hugely successful; Semmelweis’ discovery directly confronted with the beliefs of science and medicine in his time. His colleagues and other medical professionals refused to accept his findings mainly because they did not find it convincing that they could be responsible for spreading infections.

The reaction reflected on his job as well when he was declined a reappointment in 1849. Ignaz Semmelweis was himself reluctant to publish or demonstrate his research and findings publically but some of his students and colleagues wrote letters and delivered lectures explaining his work. But later, he somehow got convinced and during 1850, he delivered a few lectures in Vienna on the Origin of Puerperal Fever.

He returned to Budapest in 1851 and joined St. Rochus Hospital remaining there till 1857. His antiseptic methods proved to be fruitful here as well. In 1861, he eventually published a book in German about his significant discovery followed by a series of letters written in reaction to his critics.

Who suggested washing hands before surgery?

The native form of this personal name is Semmelweis Ignác Fülöp, This article uses Western name order when mentioning individuals.

Ignaz Semmelweis
Dr. Ignaz Semmelweis, aged 42 in 1860, photograph by Borsos és Doctor
Born Semmelweis Ignác Fülöp 1 July 1818 Buda, Hungary, Austrian Empire (now Budapest, Hungary)
Died 13 August 1865 (aged 47) Oberdöbling, Austrian Empire (now Vienna, Austria)
Citizenship Kingdom of Hungary
Alma mater University of Vienna
Known for Introducing hand disinfection standards, in obstetrical clinics, from 1847
Scientific career
Fields Obstetrics, surgeries
Spouse Mária Weidenhofer ​ ( m.1857) ​
Children 5

Ignaz Philipp Semmelweis ( German: ; Hungarian : Semmelweis Ignác Fülöp ; 1 July 1818 – 13 August 1865) was a Hungarian physician and scientist, who was an early pioneer of antiseptic procedures. Described as the “saviour of mothers”, he discovered that the incidence of puerperal fever (also known as “childbed fever”) could be drastically reduced by requiring hand disinfection in obstetrical clinics.

  • Puerperal fever was common in mid-19th-century hospitals and often fatal.
  • He proposed the practice of washing hands with chlorinated lime solutions in 1847 while working in Vienna General Hospital ‘s First Obstetrical Clinic, where doctors’ wards had three times the mortality of midwives’ wards.
  • He published a book of his findings in Etiology, Concept and Prophylaxis of Childbed Fever,

Despite various publications of results where hand-washing reduced mortality to below 2%, Semmelweis’s observations conflicted with the established scientific and medical opinions of the time and his ideas were rejected by the medical community. He could offer no theoretical explanation for his findings of reduced mortality due to hand-washing, and some doctors were offended at the suggestion that they should wash their hands and mocked him for it.

Who introduced hand hygiene first?

Semmelweis is considered not only the father of hand hygiene, but his intervention is also a model of epidemiologically driven strategies to prevent infection.

How long should you decontaminate your hands for?

How Germs Spread – Washing hands can keep you healthy and prevent the spread of respiratory and diarrheal infections. Germs can spread from person to person or from surfaces to people when you:

  • Touch your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Prepare or eat food and drinks with unwashed hands
  • Touch surfaces or objects that have germs on them
  • Blow your nose, cough, or sneeze into hands and then touch other people’s hands or common objects

When Did Healthcare Workers First Use Chlorine You can help yourself and your loved ones stay healthy by washing your hands often, especially during these key times when you are likely to get and spread germs:

  • Before, during, and after preparing food
  • Before and after eating food
  • Before and after caring for someone at home who is sick with vomiting or diarrhea
  • Before and after treating a cut or wound
  • After using the toilet
  • After 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 garbage

If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol to clean your hands. Washing your hands is easy, and it’s one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of germs. Clean hands can help stop germs from spreading from one person to another and in our communities—including your home, workplace, schools, and childcare facilities. When Did Healthcare Workers First Use Chlorine

  1. Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.
  2. Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
  3. Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds, Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.
  4. Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
  5. Dry your hands using a clean towel or an air dryer.

Washing hands with soap and water is the best way to get rid of germs in most situations. If soap and water are not readily available, you can use an alcohol-based that contains at least 60% alcohol. You can tell if the sanitizer contains at least 60% alcohol by looking at the product label. Sanitizers can quickly reduce the number of germs on hands in many situations. However,

  • Sanitizers do not get rid of all types of germs.
  • Hand sanitizers may not be as effective when hands are visibly dirty or greasy.
  • Hand sanitizers might not remove harmful chemicals like pesticides from hands.

When Did Healthcare Workers First Use Chlorine

  1. Apply the gel product to the palm of one hand (read the label to learn the correct amount).
  2. Cover all surfaces of hands.
  3. Rub your hands and fingers together until they are dry. This should take around 20 seconds.
  • : When and How to Wash Your Hands

    When was 5 moments of hand hygiene introduced?

    Abstract – The World Health Organization (WHO) launched the first Global Patient Safety Challenge in 2005 and introduced the ‘5 moments of hand hygiene’ in 2009 in an attempt to reduce the burden of health care associated infections. Many NHS trusts in England adopted this model of hand hygiene, which prompts health care workers to clean their hands at five distinct stages of caring for the patient.

    Our review analyses the scientific foundation for the five moments of hand hygiene and explores the evidence, as referenced by WHO, to support these recommendations. We found no strong scientific support for this regime of hand hygiene as a means of reducing health care associated infections. Consensus-based guidelines based on weak scientific foundations should be assessed carefully to prevent shifting the clinical focus from more important issues and to direct limited resources more effectively.

    We recommend caution in the universal adoption of the WHO ‘5 moments of hand hygiene’ by orthopaedic surgeons and other health care workers and emphasise the need for evidence-based principles when adopting hospital guidelines aimed at promoting excellence in clinical practice.

    Why wash hands after toilet?

    Show Me the Science – Why Wash Your Hands? Keeping hands clean is one of the most important steps we can take to avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others. Many diseases and conditions are spread by not washing hands with soap and clean, running water.

    Feces (poop) from people or animals is an important source of germs like and that cause diarrhea, and it can spread some respiratory infections like and These kinds of germs can get onto hands after people use the toilet or change a diaper, but also in less obvious ways, like after handling raw meats that have invisible amounts of animal poop on them.

    A single gram of human feces—which is about the weight of a paper clip—can contain one trillion germs, Germs can also get onto hands if people touch any object that has germs on it because someone coughed or sneezed on it or was touched by some other contaminated object.

    • People frequently touch their eyes, nose, and mouth without even realizing it. Germs can get into the body through the eyes, nose and mouth and make us sick.
    • Germs from unwashed hands can get into foods and drinks while people prepare or consume them. Germs can multiply in some types of foods or drinks, under certain conditions, and make people sick.
    • Germs from unwashed hands can be transferred to other objects, like handrails, table tops, or toys, and then transferred to another person’s hands.
    • Removing germs through handwashing therefore helps prevent diarrhea and respiratory infections and may even help prevent skin and eye infections.

    Teaching people about handwashing helps them and their communities stay healthy. Handwashing education in the community:

    • Reduces the number of people who get sick with diarrhea by 23-40%,,
    • Reduces diarrheal illness in people with weakened immune systems by 58%
    • Reduces respiratory illnesses, like colds, in the general population by 16-21%,
    • Reduces absenteeism due to gastrointestinal illness in schoolchildren by 29-57%

    About 1.8 million children under the age of 5 die each year from diarrheal diseases and pneumonia, the top two killers of young children around the world,

    • Handwashing with soap could protect about 1 out of every 3 young children who get sick with diarrhea, and almost 1 out of 5 young children with respiratory infections like pneumonia,,
    • Although people around the world clean their hands with water, very few use soap to wash their hands. Washing hands with soap removes germs much more effectively,
    • Handwashing education and access to soap in schools can help improve attendance,,,
    • Good handwashing early in life may help improve child development in some settings,
    • Estimated global rates of handwashing after using the toilet are only 19%,
    See also:  What Is Encounter In Healthcare?

    Preventing sickness reduces the amount of antibiotics people use and the likelihood that will develop. Handwashing can prevent about 30% of diarrhea-related sicknesses and about 20% of respiratory infections (e.g., colds),, Antibiotics often are prescribed unnecessarily for these health issues,

    1. Franks AH, Harmsen HJM, Raangs GC, Jansen GJ, Schut F, Welling GW. Appl Environ Microbiol.1998;64(9):3336-3345.
    2. Ejemot RI, Ehiri JE, Meremikwu MM, Critchley JA. Cochrane Database Syst Rev.2008;1:CD004265.
    3. Aiello AE, Coulborn RM, Perez V, Larson EL. Am J Public Health.2008;98(8):1372-81.
    4. Huang DB, Zhou J. J Med Microbiol.2007;56(5):659-63.
    5. Rabie T and Curtis V. Trop Med Int Health.2006 Mar;11(3):258-67.
    6. Freeman MC, Stocks ME, Cumming O, Jeandron A, Higgins JPT, Wolf J et al. Trop Med Int Heal 2014; 19: 906–916.
    7. Wang Z, Lapinski M, Quilliam E, Jaykus LA, Fraser A. Am J Infect Control 2017; 45: 682–689.
    8. Liu L, Johnson HL, Cousens S, Perin J, Scott S, Lawn JE, Rudan I, Campbell H, Cibulskis R, Li M, Mathers C, Black RE; Child Health Epidemiology Reference Group of WHO and UNICEF. Lancet.2012 Jun 9;379(9832):2151-61.
    9. Burton M, Cobb E, Donachie P, Judah G, Curtis V, Schmidt WP. Int J Environ Res Public Health.2011 Jan;8(1):97-104.
    10. Azor-Martínez E, Cobos-Carrascosa E, Gimenez-Sanchez F, Martínez-López JM, Garrido-Fernández P, Santisteban-Martínez J, Seijas-Vazquez ML, Campos-Fernandez MA, Bonillo-Perales A. Pediatr Infect Dis J.2013 Oct 3.
    11. Lau CH, Springston EE, Sohn MW, Mason I, Gadola E, Damitz M, Gupta RS. BMC Pediatr.2012;12:52.
    12. Master D, Hess Longe SH, Dickson H. Fam Med.1997;29(5):336-9.
    13. Bowen A, Agboatwalla M, Luby S, Tobery T, Ayers T, Hoekstra RM. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med.2012 Nov;166(11):1037-44.
    14. Hogerzeil H. Br J Clin Pharmacol.1995;39:1-6.
  • : Show Me the Science – Why Wash Your Hands?

    Why do surgeons wash their hands so much?

    This is one of the most common questions we get. There’s more confusion about glove usage and hand hygiene than nearly anything else – even among the most senior clinicians! We spoke with a senior-level physician at one of our hospital partners recently.

    This doctor was on both the Infection Control and Quality Improvement committees at the hospital. He had used our electronic hand hygiene reminder system for two years. And he asked us why our system reminded him to clean his hands after he took his gloves off. The answer was that our system was set up in accordance with the hospital’s hand hygiene policies and follows the recommendations from all major infection control organizations.

    Here is what the World Health Organization says:

    When an indication for hand hygiene precedes a contact that also requires glove usage, hand rubbing or hand washing should be performed before donning gloves.When an indication for hand hygiene follows a contact that has required gloves, hand rubbing or hand washing should occur after removing gloves.When an indication for hand hygiene applies while the health-care worker is wearing gloves, then gloves should be removed to perform handrubbing or handwashing.

    Many clinicians wonder why they need to clean their hands when they’re wearing gloves. The short answer is that they need to sanitize their hands before wearing gloves because the gloves used for routine patient care are not put on in a sterile manner.

    Think about it – clinicians blindly reach in and grab gloves from the box and then hurry to put them on. In this process, you touch the gloves with your hands to put them on. If your hands aren’t clean, any organisms on them will be transferred to the outside of the gloves. Clinicians must also sanitize their hands after wearing gloves because it’s very difficult to remove gloves without contaminating your hands during removal.

    This transfers organisms from the gloves to your skin. A recent study demonstrated that 52.9% of glove removals resulted in contaminating either skin or clothing. Gloves are intended to protect the provider from the patient, but they do not offer protection for the patient.

    • Performing hand hygiene both before donning and after removing gloves is the best thing you can do to protect both the patient and the provider.
    • If you’d like to explore how our system typically doubles hand hygiene performance rates and reduces HAIs by up to 75-80%, here’s a brief video about how it works,

    Or here’s a white paper on How the New Joint Commission Hand Hygiene Standards Could Impact Your Hospital.

    Who is the father of hygiene?

    Ignac Semmelweis-Father of Hand Hygiene.

    What is the main purpose of hand hygiene?

    Hand Hygiene What is hand hygiene? Hand hygiene is a way of cleaning one’s hands that substantially reduces potential pathogens (harmful microorganisms) on the hands. Hand hygiene is considered a primary measure for reducing the risk of transmitting infection among patients and health care personnel.

    • Hand hygiene procedures include the use of alcohol-based hand rubs (containing 60%–95% alcohol) and hand washing with soap and water.
    • For surgical procedures, perform a surgical hand scrub before putting on sterile surgeon’s gloves.
    • For routine dental examinations and nonsurgical procedures, use an alcohol-based hand rub or use water and plain or antimicrobial soap specific for health care settings.

    Unless hands are visibly soiled (e.g., dirt, blood, body fluids), an alcohol-based hand rub is preferred over soap and water in most clinical situations because it:

    Is more effective than soap at killing potentially deadly germs on hands Requires less time Is more accessible than handwashing sinks Produces reduced bacterial counts on hands, and Improves skin condition with less irritation and dryness than soap and water

    For more information on Hand Hygiene, please visit CDC’s, Always perform hand hygiene in the following situations:

    Before and after treating each patient (e.g., before and after gloving). After touching with bare hands instruments, equipment, materials, and other objects that are likely to be contaminated by blood, saliva, or respiratory secretions. Before leaving the dental treatment area. When hands are visibly soiled. Before regloving and after removing gloves that are torn, cut, or punctured.

    Using alcohol-based hand rub (follow manufacturer directions):

    Dispense the recommended amount of product Apply product to the palm of one hand Rub hands together, making sure that all surfaces of hands and fingers are covered until they are dry (no rinsing is required)

    Hand washing with soap and water:

    Wet hands first with water (do not use hot water) Apply soap to hands Rub hands vigorously for at least 15 seconds, covering all surfaces of hands and fingers Rinse hands with water and dry thoroughly with a paper towel Use a paper towel to turn off the water faucet

    Surgical hand hygiene/antisepsis:

    Use either an antimicrobial soap or alcohol-based surgical hand-scrub product with continuous activity Antimicrobial soap: scrub hands and forearms for length of time recommended by manufacturer Alcohol-based surgical hand-scrub product: follow manufacturer’s recommendations. Before applying, wash hands and forearms with a non-antimicrobial soap

    Store and dispense products according to manufacturer’s instructions. Products such as liquid soaps and lotions can become contaminated with bacteria or other microorganisms. Liquid products should be stored in closed containers and dispensed from either disposable containers or containers that are washed and dried thoroughly before refilling. Soap should not be added to a partially empty dispenser; the practice of “topping off” might lead to bacterial contamination of soap and cancel the beneficial effect of hand cleaning and disinfection. Yes, certain types of lotions such as those that contain petroleum can weaken latex gloves and increase porousness. If using lotions during the workday, select a water-based product. Lotions that contain petroleum or other oil emollients should only be used at the end of the workday. When choosing a lotion to use in the dental office, get information from the manufacturer about interaction between gloves, lotions, dental materials, and antimicrobial products. CDC. Guideline for hand hygiene in health care settings: Recommendations of the Health Care Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee and the HICPAC/SHEA/APIC/IDSA Hand Hygiene Task Force. MMWR 2002;51(No. RR-16). Available at:, Accessed June 27, 2015. CDC. Basic Expectations for Safe Care Training Module 2 – Hand Hygiene. Available at: Accessed May 8, 2018. CDC. Guidelines for infection control in dental health-care settings – 2003. MMWR 2003; 52(No. RR-17):1–66. Available at:, Accessed June 27, 2015. CDC. Hand Hygiene in Healthcare Settings Educational Material Ellingson K, et. Al. Strategies to Prevent Healthcare-Associated Infections through Hand Hygiene. A Compendium of Strategies to Prevent Healthcare-associated Infections in Acute care Hospitals: 2014 Updates.Infect Control and Hospital Epidemiol 2014;35 No. S2: S155-S178. Momeni, SS, Tomlin N, Ruby JD. Isolation of Raoultella planticola from refillable antimicrobial liquid soap dispensers in a dental setting. J Am Dent Assoc 2015;146:241–245. Myers R, Larson E, Cheng B, Schwartz A, Da Silva K, Kunzel C. Hand hygiene among general practice dentists a survey of knowledge, attitudes and practices. J Am Dent Assoc 2008;139:948–957. : Hand Hygiene

    When was 5 moments of hand hygiene introduced?

    Abstract – The World Health Organization (WHO) launched the first Global Patient Safety Challenge in 2005 and introduced the ‘5 moments of hand hygiene’ in 2009 in an attempt to reduce the burden of health care associated infections. Many NHS trusts in England adopted this model of hand hygiene, which prompts health care workers to clean their hands at five distinct stages of caring for the patient.

    Our review analyses the scientific foundation for the five moments of hand hygiene and explores the evidence, as referenced by WHO, to support these recommendations. We found no strong scientific support for this regime of hand hygiene as a means of reducing health care associated infections. Consensus-based guidelines based on weak scientific foundations should be assessed carefully to prevent shifting the clinical focus from more important issues and to direct limited resources more effectively.

    We recommend caution in the universal adoption of the WHO ‘5 moments of hand hygiene’ by orthopaedic surgeons and other health care workers and emphasise the need for evidence-based principles when adopting hospital guidelines aimed at promoting excellence in clinical practice.

    What is the history of hand wash?

    History – The importance of hand washing for human health – particularly for people in vulnerable circumstances like mothers who had just given birth or wounded soldiers in hospitals – was first recognized in the mid 19th century by two pioneers of hand hygiene: the Hungarian physician Ignaz Semmelweis who worked in Vienna, Austria and Florence Nightingale, the English “founder of modern nursing”.

    At that time most people still believed that infections were caused by foul odors called miasmas, In the 1980s, foodborne outbreaks and healthcare-associated infections led the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to more actively promote hand hygiene as an important way to prevent the spread of infection.

    The outbreak of swine flu in 2009 and the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 led to increased awareness in many countries of the importance of washing hands with soap to protect oneself from such infectious diseases. For example, posters with “correct hand washing techniques” were hung up next to hand washing sinks in public toilets and in the toilets of office buildings and airports in Germany.

    What is the main reason for performing hand hygiene?

    Show Me the Science – Why Wash Your Hands? Keeping hands clean is one of the most important steps we can take to avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others. Many diseases and conditions are spread by not washing hands with soap and clean, running water.

    Feces (poop) from people or animals is an important source of germs like and that cause diarrhea, and it can spread some respiratory infections like and These kinds of germs can get onto hands after people use the toilet or change a diaper, but also in less obvious ways, like after handling raw meats that have invisible amounts of animal poop on them.

    A single gram of human feces—which is about the weight of a paper clip—can contain one trillion germs, Germs can also get onto hands if people touch any object that has germs on it because someone coughed or sneezed on it or was touched by some other contaminated object.

    • People frequently touch their eyes, nose, and mouth without even realizing it. Germs can get into the body through the eyes, nose and mouth and make us sick.
    • Germs from unwashed hands can get into foods and drinks while people prepare or consume them. Germs can multiply in some types of foods or drinks, under certain conditions, and make people sick.
    • Germs from unwashed hands can be transferred to other objects, like handrails, table tops, or toys, and then transferred to another person’s hands.
    • Removing germs through handwashing therefore helps prevent diarrhea and respiratory infections and may even help prevent skin and eye infections.

    Teaching people about handwashing helps them and their communities stay healthy. Handwashing education in the community:

    • Reduces the number of people who get sick with diarrhea by 23-40%,,
    • Reduces diarrheal illness in people with weakened immune systems by 58%
    • Reduces respiratory illnesses, like colds, in the general population by 16-21%,
    • Reduces absenteeism due to gastrointestinal illness in schoolchildren by 29-57%

    About 1.8 million children under the age of 5 die each year from diarrheal diseases and pneumonia, the top two killers of young children around the world,

    • Handwashing with soap could protect about 1 out of every 3 young children who get sick with diarrhea, and almost 1 out of 5 young children with respiratory infections like pneumonia,,
    • Although people around the world clean their hands with water, very few use soap to wash their hands. Washing hands with soap removes germs much more effectively,
    • Handwashing education and access to soap in schools can help improve attendance,,,
    • Good handwashing early in life may help improve child development in some settings,
    • Estimated global rates of handwashing after using the toilet are only 19%,

    Preventing sickness reduces the amount of antibiotics people use and the likelihood that will develop. Handwashing can prevent about 30% of diarrhea-related sicknesses and about 20% of respiratory infections (e.g., colds),, Antibiotics often are prescribed unnecessarily for these health issues,

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  • : Show Me the Science – Why Wash Your Hands?
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