Evidence of hand hygiene to reduce transmission and infections


The human skin, known as the body's largest organ, encompasses a vast surface area and serves as the primary interface with the external world. It plays a pivotal role as a protective barrier against various harsh environmental elements, shielding the body's internal systems. Additionally, the skin houses a distinctive human microbiome, a complex ecosystem of microorganisms that vary from person to person.

Despite the individual differences, this microbiome generally maintains a relatively consistent composition within each person, contributing to overall skin health. Ensuring the prevention of infections is paramount not only for safeguarding oneself but also for maintaining a sterile treatment environment, thereby reducing the risk associated with the germs present in a patient's body.

These microorganisms can also be called natural flora of one’s body and are usually divided into two categories:

1- Transient flora which comes on superficial layers of skin for some time and can easily be washed off with water and soap. It is frequently associated with healthcare-related infections. 2- Resident flora which is present in deep skin layers and is less un likely to be associated with any sort of infection. When pathogenic, these microbes become a potential risk to the health of a person and can cause significant morbidity and mortality if they are agresive enough. Moreover, some won’t affect a healthy person, whose immune system is in good shape and can easily overcome infections, then there’s a possibility that they can be transmitted to a sick person who might have a low immunity. Viruses like Covid-19, influenza, and the Ebola virus, and the emergence of resistant strains of traditional pathogens has exposed glitches in our healthcare system. It signifies that the preventive healthcare system needs to be more efficient and practical than curative healthcare so that the burden on curative healthcare can be minimized. Not only that, but preventive measures can also save the human race from a lot of existing and upcoming microbial diseases.

Water & Soap

Wash Hands

Water & Soap

Water temperature is important

Sanitize when Water and Soap isn't available

Evidence of hand hygiene to reduce transmission and infections

How can hand hygiene help in minimizing the infection risks?

Well, the answer to this is simple, if you somehow eliminate the pathways through which microbes and germs gain access to your body then you can effectively minimize the risk of lethal infectious diseases. It is proven that lack of hand hygiene Is the leading cause of the spread of many respiratory, diarrheal, and skin diseases. Microorganisms like Covid-19, influenza virus, Salmonella, Shigella, Giardia, E.coli O157, and Norovirus, cause diarrhea, respiratory diseases, and hands-foot-mouth diseases. These pathogens are frequently present in manure and can  contaminate a person’s hand during changing a diaper or using the bathroom. It can also climb on one’s hand while dealing with raw meat having traces of animal faces. Infection Prevention and Control is paramount in nursing, it protects both patient and healthcare worker from disease. Pathogens can access hands just by touching a polluted object These germs can spread from one person to another with a mere touch or a handshake and make someone ill. All these infections can be prevented from causing diseases and their transmission can also be halted with the help of hand-washing compliance. The likelihood of emerging epidemics, pandemics, and epidemics can be handled by controlling the transmission and acquisitions of these infections by showing hand-washing compliance.

Although a lot of people are aware of hand hygiene and importance and washing their hands with water frequently, very few use soaps while washing their hands. According to CDC, soaps remove germs from hands more efficiently, compared to washing hands with plain water. Inappropriate hand hygiene and lack of hand washing stations significantly affect the health of children across the world. 

Cleaning hands with soap removes pathogens and germs from hands, moreover, it has also been documented that there was decreased diarrheal illness in people with weakened immune systems by 58%. Also, such awareness has been directed toward the reduction in respiratory illness, such as., common flu, in the general population by 16-21%, and gastrointestinal infections in schoolchildren by 29-57%. Infection prevention In addition to this, the WHO is working with the motto “ Clean care is safer care” to promote hand hygiene compliance to fight the rising infections by multi-drug-resistant strains. According to the conclusion drawn from available data and surveys, it is stated that improvements were seen when hand hygiene was assumed as the primary preventive measure to fight off antibiotic resistance.