Study after study has shown that washing your hands, and using proper washing techniques, reduces the chances of getting sick and spreading germs. Washing thoroughly with soap and clean running water is the preferred method of hand cleaning, although cleaning with alcohol-based hand sanitizers that contain at least 60% alcohol is also effective.
The proper way to wash your hands is to wet your hands with clean running warm or cold water and then apply soap. Rub your hands together to make a lather and scrub them well, including the back of your hands, between your fingers, and under your finger nails. You should continuing rubbing your hands for at least 20 seconds and then rinse them thoroughly under clean running water. Then dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them. Use a disposable towel to turn off the faucet. Avoid using hot water because repeated use of hot water can increase the risk of dermatitis.
If you are using an alcohol-based sanitizer, place the proper amount on the palm of your hand and then rub your hands together making sure you cover all surfaces of your hands and fingers and continue rubbing until your hands are dry. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations regarding the amount of the sanitizer that you use.
Failure to perform proper hand hygiene is considered the leading cause of health-care-associated infections and the spread of multiresistant organisms as well as being a substantial contributor to hospital infection outbreaks.
Make sure that all of your health care providers thoroughly wash their hands with soap and water or use other appropriate cleaning agents before providing medical care to you. Don’t be afraid to speak up – if your health care provider did not wash his or her hands within your view, ask them to do so. It’s your health – protect it!
If you acquired an infection while in a hospital, nursing home, or while receiving medical care, a medical malpractice attorney may be able to investigate whether you have a claim against the health care provider. Contact us for help finding a medical malpractice lawyer in your area by clicking here or calling us toll free at 800-295-3959.