4 MAY 2012 | GENEVA – On Hand Hygiene Day (5 May), more than 15 000 health-care facilities from 156 countries are participating in the WHO Save Lives: Clean Your Hands Initiative by committing to improve patient safety by practicing better hand hygiene.
This commitment means that almost 10 million health-care workers are aiming to implement hand hygiene best practices, such as cleansing hands in specific moments during patient care. These steps help to combat the often hidden but persistent public health hazard of health care-associated infections.
Many of the germs causing these infections are transferred by hands when health-care providers or visitors are touching the patient while providing assistance. Using proper hand hygiene to keep hands clean is critical to reducing the risk of health care-associated infections in patients. The most common infections are urinary tract and surgical site infections, pneumonia and infections of the bloodstream.
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Good Hand Hygiene Promotes Patient Safety