Monday, 14 May 2012

Decline in Superbug Infections Linked to Hand Hygiene Compliance


It’s not just in the United States that Arizona medical malpractice attorneys have noted a decline in the number of hospital-acquired infections caused by so-called superbugs.  Across the pond too, hospitals have been reporting substantial reductions in the number of these infections after staff began to stress on hand hygiene compliance.
According to the results of a new study that have been published in the British Medical Journal website, a campaign across England and Wales to increase hand washing compliance rates led to a dramatic decline in the number of superbug infections.  The campaign was kicked off in June 2005, at a time when the British public was becoming wary of the high number of hospital-acquired infections. 
The campaign was called Clean Your Hands, and as part of the campaign, staffs at hospitals were frequently exposed to posters that reminded them to wash their hands before and after checking patients.  There were also regular checks to ensure that staff members were complying with hand hygiene rules.  In order to make it easier for staff members to comply with these rules, alcohol gels were placed by bedsides. 
The results were dramatic.  By 2008, there was a dramatic increase in the number of alcohol and soap being purchased by hospitals.  The total volume increased by 3 times, from 22 ML per patient per day to 60 ML per patient per day.
The increasing use of soap and alcohol translated into lower rates of hospital-acquired infections.  The rates of deadly MRSA infections, which are some of the deadliest infections actually dropped by more than 50% while rates of C. diff infections fell by more than 40%.
According to the study's authors, as many as 10,000 lives could have been saved as a result of the increased hand hygiene compliance.

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