15 seconds and 3 steps: This is how you should wash your hands to prevent infection
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15 seconds and 3 steps: This is how you should wash your hands to prevent infection

A study has looked at the best technique for hand hygiene.

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15 seconds and 3 steps: This is how you should wash your hands to prevent infection

A shortened 15-second application time and three-step technique for using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer is as effective in reducing bacteria as the 30-second application and the six-step technique recommended by the World Organization. Health (WHO), according to new research presented at the European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ECCMID).

WHO recommends a six-step 'how to rub hands' technique for using alcohol-based hand sanitizer. However, as explained at the conference, adherence to the six steps is low and previous research indicates that a simplified three-step technique for rubbing hands is superior to the six-step technique in terms of compliance and elimination of bacteria.

The application time currently recommended by the WHO is 30 seconds. However, there is limited evidence of which technique is the most effective. Recent research suggests that 15 seconds of hand rubbing may be just as effective at reducing bacteria.

In the research, Dr. Sarah Tschudin-Sutter and her colleagues at the University Hospital of Basel (Switzerland), investigated the combination of the three-step technique with an application time of 15 seconds. For the research, 20 healthy volunteers (aged 18 to 51 years) were randomly assigned to rub their hands using four different techniques: the six-step technique for 30 seconds; the six-step technique for 15 seconds; the three-step technique for 30 seconds and the three-step technique for 15 seconds. The results showed that a 15-second rub application time was as effective in reducing bacteria counts on the participants' hands as the 30-second rub, regardless of the application technique.hand hygiene.

Hand hygiene, the most effective in reducing the spread of diseases

Hand hygiene, as presented at this conference in Amsterdam, is the most effective thing healthcare workers can do to reduce the spread of infectious diseases.

Professor Tschudin-Sutter states that "the time pressure and heavy workload experienced by healthcare workers reduce adherence to hand hygiene standards. These new findings suggest that shortening the time of hand rubbing and simplifying hygiene technique could be a safe alternative that is easier to fit into your busy routine. It could improve the overall quality of hand hygiene performance and have a positive effect on adherence. "

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