advertisement
08 July 2014

Anaesthesiologists need to improve hand hygiene

Anaesthesiologists may miss opportunities to wash their hands, putting patients at risk of infection.

0

Anaesthesiologists may need to improve their hand hygiene habits during surgery, because they might be putting patients at risk for infections, a new study suggests.

Researchers observed anaesthesiologists during operations and found that they had an average of 149 "hand hygiene opportunities" per hour of patient anaesthesia time.

Increases in bacterial contamination

There are five hand hygiene opportunities that help reduce the risk of health care-associated infections, according to the World Health Organisation. They are: before touching a patient; before a clean procedure; after exposure to body fluids; after touching a patient; after touching a patient's surroundings.

Read: The dangers of not washing your hands

Anaesthesiologists were least likely to properly clean their hands during the first and last 20 minutes of patient anaesthesia, which corresponds with sharp increases in bacterial contamination of the 20 most frequently touched objects during these same time periods.

The Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Centre researchers also found that anaesthesiologists were least likely to properly clean their hands immediately before patient contact and after contact with the patient's surroundings, and most likely to properly clean their hands after potential exposure to body fluids.

Read: How dirty are your hands?

"New methods to reduce bacterial contamination of the anaesthesia work environment are needed to prevent health care-associated infections," concluded the authors of the study published in the July issue of the American Journal of Infection Control.

Infections that occur after surgery are a common type of healthcare-associated infections. There are about 157,000 surgical site infections in the United States each year, according to the U.S. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.

More information

The U.S. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention has more about health care-associated infections.

Read more:

10 yucky hygiene facts
How often do you hand-wash?

 
NEXT ON HEALTH24X

More:

News
advertisement

Read Health24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Live healthier

HIV/AIDS »

5 ridiculous things some people still believe about HIV/Aids

It’s time to shine the light on some of the ridiculous and far-fetched perceptions about HIV that people still have.

Fitness »

7 strange things that happened to my body during my first marathon

Earlier this year, Health24 writer Marelize Wilke ran her first ever full marathon. She tells us about the effects it had on her body.