When it comes to keeping a health crisis at bay, washing your hands really does go a long way. However, you probably didn’t know that drying your hands can be just as important as washing them. “After washing your hands, it is so crucial that you dry your hands thoroughly,” Nesochi Okeke-Igbokwe, MD, a physician, and health expert says. Wet hands easily transfer or pick up germs. You could drip bacteria-infected water—and anything wet hands touch could become contaminated, according to David Cutler, MD, a family medicine physician at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, California. Bacteria is more likely to transfer from wet skin than from dry skin.
Some research shows there is a superior drying method
Taking the 20 to 30 seconds to wash your hands, especially after touching these germy things, is only as cleanly as drying them afterward. “One goal is to ensure that you do not re-contaminate the hands with bacteria in the process of washing or drying the hands,” Okeke-Igbokwe says. So if you have the option to dry your hands with paper towels, cloth towels, or an air-dryer, it’s more important to choose one rather than leave your hands to air dry. However, some research shows there is a superior way to dry your hands—with paper towels.
According to research from Mayo Clinic, electric air hand driers actually have the potential to spread bacteria by blowing the pathogens right back onto your hands after washing, Okeke-Igbokwe explains. “Using hand dryers in public restrooms is the worst way to dry your washed hands,” Dr. Cutler says. “Hand dryers pose risks especially to young people whose face may be at the nozzle level and breathe in the bacteria or get injured by the heat.” Another study from Westminster University found the most powerful hand driers can spread a virus up to one and a half meters or almost five feet across the room.
Although some experts still debate this topic, drying your hands with a clean, single-use hand towel may be the safer choice to reduce the risk of spreading germs, according to Okeke-Igbokwe.
Bottom line: Always dry your hands
The least-safe option is not drying your hands at all. Ranekka Dean, the Director of Infection Control at NYU Winthrop Hospital in Long Island notes that studies on each drying method have strengths and weaknesses, but as long as your hands are completely dry you’re making a healthy choice.
“The decision to use a specific drying method may be determined by several factors, including practicality, personal preference, cost, space, and availability.” And if you use a bath towel, remember how bad it is not to wash it every week.
“Clean care for all – it’s in your hands” — this year’s slogan
SAVE LIVES: Clean YOUR Hands global annual campaign kicks off on May 5th.
As the World Health Organization shared in their newsletter; “Being “campaign active” is an important part of improving hand hygiene and Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) in health care.”
“Health facilities should always be places of healing. No one should get sick while seeking care. Achieving universal health coverage means quality care for everyone, everywhere. And quality care is clean care. We all have a part to play; hand hygiene is one of the most basic elements of infection prevention and control.” Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General, advocacy video (https://youtu.be/nw9TMfqc3cE).
Visit the WHO website to gain access to the resources available and being “campaign active” to share the high levels of the importance of this life-saving intervention across the globe.
Global Antibiotic Research and Development Partnership (GARDP) – GARDP is a non-profit research and development organization initiated by WHO and the Drugs for Neglected Disease initiative, that addresses global public health needs by developing and delivering new or improved antibiotic treatments, while endeavouring to ensure their sustainable access. GARDP recently launched the COHERENCE (COmbination tHERapy to treat sepsis due to carbapenem-resistant Gram negative bacteria in adult and paediatric population: EvideNCE and common practice) project. As a first activity, COHERENCE launched a survey assessing the prescription habits and attitudes of clinicians who normally deal with the treatment of carbapenem-resistant Gram negative bacteria in adult and paediatric populations worldwide. Please promote the survey and participate here (https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/GARDP-COHERENCE)! By completing the survey, you will have a chance to win a complimentary registration for the 2020 ECCMID Congress in Paris.
Hand-Washing aka hand hygiene Remains #1 In Infection Prevention In Every Setting.
“Despite evidence to suggest that [hand hygiene] is important in preventing infection, hospitalized patients are often not provided the opportunity to clean their hands,” due to mobility and cognitive obstacles as well as lack of education, investigators wrote.
Education on patient hand hygiene significantly reduced the incidence of Clostridium difficile infection at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Mercy Hospital.
First, they conducted baseline surveys to assess patient hand hygiene, which showed patients needed more opportunities to wash their hands. Then nurse educators provided staff with an educational presentation on the importance of patient hand hygiene for preventing infection, which included specific times they should encourage and assist patients with hand hygiene. Staff then provided education and assistance to newly admitted patients, and researchers conducted additional surveys after implementation of this intervention.
During the first phase of the study involving just four medical-surgical nursing units, patient hand hygiene education increased significantly after the intervention (P < .0001). Overall, 97 follow-up surveys showed the proportion of those who received hand hygiene education increased from 34% to 64%, the opportunities provided for hand hygiene increased from 60% to 86%, and the average number of times hand hygiene was performed daily increased from 2.7 to 3.75.
After expanding the intervention to the whole hospital in the second phase of the study, 189 follow-up surveys showed that patient hand hygiene education increased from 48% to 53%. Meanwhile, overall opportunities for hand hygiene remained unchanged from 68%, and daily frequency of patient hand hygiene did not change significantly (mean, 2.4 vs. 2.6 times per day).
Notably, CDI rates dropped significantly during the 6 months following hospital-wide implementation.
“[Standardized infection ratio] P values for Q2 and W3 (0.0157 and 0.0103, respectively) were significantly lower than expected (P .05),” investigators wrote. “The Q4 SIR, however, showed an increase to 0.3844 over the 2 preceding quarters.”
They concluded that these findings showed patient hand hygiene “should be considered a potential addition to CDI prevention measures in hospitalized patients.” – by Adam Leitenberger
A Nevada woman has died from an infection resistant to all available antibiotics in the United States, public health officials report.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the woman’s condition was deemed incurable after being tested against 26 different antibiotics.
Though this isn’t the first case of pan-resistant bacteria in the U.S., at this time it is still uncommon. Still, experts note that antibiotic resistance is a growing health concern globally and call the newly reported case “a wake up call.”
“This is the latest reminder that yes, antibiotic resistance is real,” Dr. James Johnson, a professor specializing in infectious diseases at the University of Minnesota Medical School, told CBS News. “This is not some future, fantasized armageddon threat that maybe will happen after our lifetime. This is now, it’s real, and it’s here.”
According to the report, the woman from Washoe County was in her 70s and had recently returned to America after an extended trip to India. She had been hospitalized there several times before being admitted to an acute care hospital in Nevada in mid-August.
Doctors discovered the woman was infected with carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae(CRE), which is a family of germs that CDC director Dr. Tom Frieden has called “nightmare bacteria” due to the danger it poses for spreading antibiotic resistance.
The woman had a specific type of CRE, called Klebsiella pneumoniae, which can lead to a number of illnesses, including pneumonia, blood stream infections, and meningitis. In early September, she developed septic shock and died.
The authors of the report say the case highlights the need for doctors and hospitals to ask incoming patients about recent travel and if they have been hospitalized elsewhere.
Other experts say it underscores the need for the medical community, the government and the public to take antibiotic resistance more seriously.
According to the CDC, at least two million people become infected with antibiotic resistant bacteria each year, and at least 23,000 die as a direct result of these infections.
The World Health Organization calls antibiotic resistance “one of the biggest threats to global health.”
A grim report released last year suggests that if bacteria keep evolving at the current rate, by 2050, superbugs will kill 10 million people a year.
While scientists are working to develop new antibiotics, that takes time, and experts encourage doctors and the public to focus on prevention efforts.
One of the most important ways to prevent antibiotic resistance is to only take antibiotics only when they’re necessary.
“Drug resistance like this [case] generally develops from too much exposure to antibiotics,” assistant professor of pediatrics at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and director of the Pediatric Antimicrobial Stewardship Program at The Johns Hopkins Hospital, told CBS News. “Every time you’re placed on an antibiotic it’s important to question if it’s absolutely necessary and what’s the shortest amount of time you can take this antibiotic for it to still be effective.”
Johnson notes that medical tourism – the practice of traveling to another country to obtain medical treatment, typically at lower cost – may no longer be worth the risk. “With this [antibiotic] resistance issue, the risk/benefit of this approach really changes and I think that people really need to be aware and seriously consider if it’s a good idea given the possibility of this kind of thing,” he said.
Frequent hand washing, particularly in healthcare settings, is also extremely important in preventing the spread of germs.
To read the article in its entirety please click on the link below to be redirected:
Let’s begin with promoting C. difficile prevention to share in witnessing a decrease in C. difficile infections worldwide.
Ways to PREVENT acquiring a C. diff. infection:
HAND-WASHINGremains the #1 course of action in infection prevention.
Knowing how and when to wash hands is also important.
Correct Hand-washing steps to follow:
Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.
Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Be sure to lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
Scrub your hands for at least 30 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.
Rinse your hands well with water.
Dry your hands using a clean towel.
Turn off faucets with a clean dry towel, and wipe hands with a clean dry towel.
WHEN is it a good time to wash hands?
Before, during, and after handling and preparing food.
Upon Entering a Patient’s room and Before Existing a Patient’s room.
Before and after eating.
Before and after patient care.
Before and after treating a cut or wound.
Before exiting a restroom.
After changing diapers.
After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
After petting a pet or any livestock animals.
After touching garbage.
Limit Antibiotic Use — Discuss Symptoms With Healthcare Providers.
The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention recommends infection control protocols be shared between healthcare professionals and long-term facility administrators for the safety of the patient, visitors, and other patient’s safety.
Question the necessity of antibiotics to treat symptoms. Unnecessary use of antibiotics raises the risk of acquiring a C. difficile infection. Remember antibiotics do not effect viruses. Healthcare professionals; confirming a bacterial infection before prescribing antibiotic course of treatment is advised.
Take the Antibiotic “Resistance Fighter” Pledge
How to be a resistance fighter: Limit the use of Antibiotics! Understand that antibiotics are only effective against bacteria and not viruses: colds, flu and most coughs are caused by viruses and will get better on their own. Treat your flu and cold symptoms and let your immune system fight the virus. Antibiotics will not help you get better quickly, and may give you side effects such as diarrhea and thrush. They can also lead to acquired C. diff. infections. They won’t stop your virus spreading to other people only YOU can do that with good hand hygiene. Don’t ask for antibiotics , instead ask your doctor about the best way to treat your symptoms. If you are prescribed antibiotics ask your doctor about the risks and benefits and always take them exactly as prescribed. Never take someone else’s antibiotics, always speak with your Primary Care Physician (PCP) or healthcare professional when symptoms linger or worsen.
Let us all take the “Resistance Fighter” Pledge and feel free to share the pledge with everyone you know
I will not expect antibiotics for colds and flu as they have no effect on viruses. I will take antibiotics as directed IF I am prescribed them, and not ask for them. I will practice good hygiene, making hand washing #1, and help stop giving germs a free ride.
Now we can ALL spread knowledge, not infections and encourage others to join the fight against antibiotic resistance.
“Get Smart: Know When Antibiotics Work” CDC Campaign :
Get Smart About Antibiotics Week has been an annual effort to coordinate the work of CDC’s Get Smart: Know When Antibiotics Work campaign, state-based appropriate antibiotic use campaigns, non-profit partners, and for-profit partners during a one week observance of antibiotic resistance and the importance of appropriate antibiotic use. The campaign organized its first annual Get Smart About Antibiotics Week in 2008. CDC’s Get Smart campaign, housed in the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, collaborated with state-based appropriate antibiotic use campaigns and non-profit and for-profit partners. The success of the pilot year was measured by 1) dissemination of educational materials and messages, 2) partner satisfaction, and 3) media interest. A robust evaluation of the pilot week determined that each of these goals was met and exceeded. This was followed by other successful Get Smart About Antibiotics Week observances.
During November 14-20th, 2016 — the Annual Get Smart About Antibiotics Week will be observed. As in past years, the effort will coordinate work of CDC’s Get Smart: Know When Antibiotics Work campaign, state-based appropriate antibiotic use campaigns, non-profit partners, and for-profit partners during a one week observance of antibiotic resistance and the importance of appropriate antibiotic use. As with the past observances, messages and resources for improving antibiotic use in healthcare settings from CDC’s Get Smart for Healthcare campaign will be included. Get Smart for Healthcare is a program housed in CDC’s National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases.
Ask your physician questions such as, “Do I really need an antibiotic?”
Bacteria only, not viruses (common cold, flu), can be killed by antibiotics.
Complete the entire course of prescribed antibiotics, even if you feel better midway through.
Antibiotic resistance occurs when bacterial changes reduce or eliminate an antibiotic’s ability to kill the bacteria.
The Association of Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) recommends the following:
Take antibiotics only and exactly as instructed by your healthcare provider.
Only take antibiotics prescribed for you.
Do not save or share antibiotics prescribed to you.
Do not pressure your healthcare provider to prescribe you antibiotics.
C. diff. Testing: When a patient presents symptoms (diarrhea with abdominal cramping/pain, fatigue, fever) ordering a C. difficile stool test to rule out a C. diff. infection is beneficial, especially if the patient has been treated with antibiotics within ninety-days.
Environmental Safety: Disinfecting a patient’s room, treated for a positive C. difficileinfection, with a bleach or Federal EPA registered spore-killing product will help eliminate C. difficile spores from being spread to another patient’s room. Environmental safety is also an important matter in home-care. Cleaning all high-touch areas in both long-term and acute care facilities, and home environments will help decrease the spread of this infection. (High-touch surfaces: light switches, door knobs/handles, bed-side commodes, bathroom hand rails, commode, sink and sink handles, counter-tops, floors, bath-tubs, showers, canes, wheel-chairs, and all medical equipment in a patient’s room).
Personal Protection:ISOLATION: Visitors and Environmental professionals, wear proper personal protection equipment when treating and cleaning areas/rooms of a C. difficile patient. (gloves, gowns, shoe coverings, protective eye wear if using using spray solutions).
Patient Isolation: Contact Precautions: Protect the patient and others by keeping a C. difficile patient in isolation in long-term and acute care facilities. This will prevent the spread of infection to others and other areas within the facilities.
Communication: If a patient is being transferred from either a long-term or acute care facility, communicate to the facility intake personnel the patient’s C. diff. infection and necessary infection control protocols to be implemented for the patient and other patient’s safety.
The CDC has been sharing public announcements regarding the use of Antibiotics for both healthcare professionals and patients alike. Colds, Ear and Sinus symptoms may be caused by a virus, not bacteria. Taking antibiotics to treat a virus makes antibiotic medications less effective when they are needed while raising the risk of acquiring a C. difficile infection. Limit the use of Antibiotics to reduce the risk of acquiring a C. difficile infection (Bacterial infections and the treatment of symptoms will be determined and should be followed by the treating healthcare professionals). * November 17-23rd, 2014 join the CDC’s Get Smart: Know When Antibiotics Work campaign.
“None of us can do this alone…..all of us can do this together”