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Official news from the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists

World Hand Hygiene Day: AANA Offers Five Precautions for Hospital Patients and Visitors to Heed

  • May 4, 2017

For Immediate Release: May 4, 2017    
For more information, contact: AANA Public Relations
Park Ridge, Illinois–The last thing a patient should have to worry about is a hospital-acquired infection (HAI), courtesy of a family member or friend. In recognition of World Hand Hygiene Day, May 5, the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA) offers five hand-hygiene tips every hospital patient and their visitor should follow.

  • After touching something (such as bed rails, bedside tables, doorknobs, TV remotes, or the phone), try not to touch your face; rub your eyes, nose or mouth; or touch an open cut or wound.
  • Do not handle your cell phone while staying in the hospital or visiting a patient unless the phone has been properly sanitized.
  • When thinking about hugging or holding your loved one's hands for comfort, be sure that both you and your loved one wash your hands with soap or an alcohol-based (at least 60 percent) sanitizer first. A note of caution: Alcohol-based hand sanitizers do not kill all germs, and in particular do not kill C. difficile, which can cause diarrhea.
  • According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), patients and visitors should be sure to wash their hands before preparing food or eating; before and after touching a wound or changing bandages; after using the restroom; after blowing their nose, sneezing or coughing; and after touching hospital surfaces.
  • Patients should feel comfortable asking healthcare providers to wash their hands before examining them.

According to the World Health Organization, hand hygiene is the primary way to reduce healthcare-associated infections.1

For the health of both patient and visitors, clean hands help save lives.

1World Health Organizations

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