We carry the enemy in our hands

In 2009, the World Health Organization launched a campaign "Save lives: Wash your hands!" with title. Since 2010, World Hand Hygiene Day has been organized every year on May 5. In a previous article, we already touched on the importance of hand washing, but this is always a current topic.
We carry the enemy in our hands

Simple yet effective

Hand washing is still the simplest way to prevent the spread of infections. We touch dozens of objects every day and within a few hours up to 500-1000 bacteria can settle on our hands. These may include pathogens that can survive and infect for days or weeks. However, most infections can be prevented by correct, frequent hand washing with soap.

Lifesaving hand washing

It was Ignác Semmelweis who realized that many pathogens are spread through our hands. It may sound strange now, but at that time, hand disinfection was not a common practice at all, and it was not even thought that neglecting it could have serious consequences. In the beginning, it was very difficult for him to get the profession to accept that puerperal fever can be prevented by simply washing his hands, but the practice proved him.


Semmelweis' legacy

The recognition of Semmelweis is of particular importance in healthcare and social institutions, and indeed in any environment where many people come into contact every day. Antibiotic-resistant bacteria still pose a great risk in healthcare. Correct hand washing also plays an important role in reducing the spread of such bacteria. In order to prevent infections, it is important not only for healthcare workers, but also for patients and visitors to take care of proper hand hygiene.

Shocking results

Michigan State University researchers observed the hand-washing habits of more than 3,000 people, based on which they obtained surprising results: 95% of people do not wash their hands long enough to kill germs. Only two out of three use soap and every tenth person skips hand washing altogether. Another alarming figure is that only 39% of people wash their hands before eating.

So how should it be?

Thorough hand washing is done with soap, lasts 20-30 seconds, covers the entire area of the hand, including the fingers and wrists. This is presented in our video by Dr. Zsolt Hegedűs, the orthopedic surgeon of the Duna Medical Center. According to research by the University of Regensburg, nearly 99.9% of bacteria can be removed from our hands with proper hand washing, but hand washing without soap does almost nothing. Washing your hands properly does not take more than half a minute, but it can make a big contribution to maintaining your own health and the health of our environment.