Avoid infections through proper hand hygiene

For people with paraplegia and caregivers who catheterize, thorough hand washing is especially important. Proper hand hygiene can z. B. Prevent the development of bladder infections.

Avoid infections through proper hand hygiene

Hand washing can effectively protect against infectious diseases. Pathogens are lurking everywhere and want to attach themselves: On doorknobs, handles, railings, the (gripping) tires of the wheelchair, and other hands that want to be shaken. The pathogens (viruses, bacteria, germs, etc.) can be reduced.) try to break through the mechanical and physiological barriers, so to speak the protective shield, of the body and penetrate into the organism. For people with paraplegia, these barriers can u. U. be weakened, z. B. If there is a spastic bladder and the regular "flushing" of the urethra by the urine draining off cannot take place. See this: The Immune System. Hygiene and frequent, correct hand washing are therefore all the more important for both patients and caregivers.

Washing hands properly

This is the right way to do it:

  1. Wet hands with warm water.
  2. Rub liquid soap on hands.
  3. Do not avoid thumbs, fingertips, spaces between fingers, and backs of hands.
  4. Soap the hands for 20 to 30 seconds.
  5. Rinse the hands thoroughly with warm water.
  6. In public washrooms, use a paper towel to close the faucet.
  7. Dry the hands thoroughly. In public washrooms, paper towels are best for this purpose; at home, it is best for each family member to use their own towel, especially if there is a history of illness.

And how long should hand washing take?

Effective hand washing should last at least 20 seconds, preferably 30 seconds. There is the long since not so secret secret tip to simply sing "Happy Birthday to you" twice. Softly or loudly, depending on where you are at the time.

Recommendations for users of manual and power wheelchairs

In anticipation of the 2020 Corona epidemic, the Swiss Paraplegic Association, following the recommendations of the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH), has issued guidance specifically for wheelchair users. Furthermore, recommendations are also given for the handling of aids that come into contact with hands a lot, e.g., hand sanitizers. B. Hand rims, walking aids and control elements. See here:

Disinfect properly

Disinfectants are considered to be even more effective than hand washing. Especially health care workers or patients (and also visitors) in clinics should use a hand disinfectant that is rubbed onto the hands and not washed off again. Hands are considered to be carriers of germs and therefore require targeted treatment with a special agent to kill germs or. Germ reduction.

This is the right way to do it:

  1. If the hands are visibly contaminated, this must first be remedied by hand washing. Hands must be dried thoroughly afterwards, as water on wet hands leads to dilution of the disinfectant, which thus cannot work effectively.
  2. Rub disinfectant on palms and backs of hands with fingers interlaced and spread apart.
  3. Disinfect thumbs and fingertips by rubbing them in the palm of the opposite hand in a circular motion.

The disinfectant must be left to act for at least 30 seconds, bearing in mind that this time is not sufficient to kill some viruses. In addition, wearing rings, nail polish or artificial fingernails interferes with the effect of disinfection.

For paraplegics, especially outside their own homes, z. B. on journeys, the disinfection with hand disinfectants carried along can be a good alternative.

Hygiene regulations in hospitals, care facilities and co.

In 2016, the new recommendations on hand hygiene in healthcare facilities of the Commission for Hospital Hygiene and Infection Prevention (KRINKO) at the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) were published.

Hygienic hand disinfection is regarded worldwide as the most effective single measure for breaking chains of infection in healthcare facilities and nursing homes; it is thus considered an important prophylaxis against nosocomial infections. The hands of the personnel can be contaminated with potentially disease-causing pathogens during measures on the patient as well as during contact with the unmedicated patient environment and thus play an important role in the transmission of pathogens.

The recommendations of the KRINKO are based on the current categories of the guideline for hospital hygiene and infection prevention published in 2010 and treat:

  • Indications for hygienic and surgical hand disinfection
  • Indications for non-sterile and sterile disposable medical gloves
  • Indications and requirements for hand washing
  • Requirements for hand sanitizer and hand wash dispensers
  • Required accompanying measures such as skin protection and care
  • Quality assurance measures with a shear focus on intervention options to improve compliance of hygienic hand disinfection
  • Legal aspects of hygiene in healthcare facilities. Click here for a pdf download of the recommendations: Hand hygiene in health care facilities.

This text was researched with the utmost care and written to the best of our knowledge and belief. The products, therapies or remedies mentioned do not constitute a recommendation by the editors and in no way replace advice or professional examination of the individual case by specialists such as z. B. Doctors or pharmacists.

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