Hand hygiene a focus at CM Health's Patient Safety Week

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Media release 4 November 2018 | Don’t give germs a hand. That’s the theme Counties Manukau Health is promoting for Patient Safety Week, which this year is being combined with Antibiotic Awareness Week.

From 4 to 18 November, CM Health will promote the importance of hand hygiene and antibiotic resistance which infectious diseases consultant Dr Stephen McBride explains are closely related.

“Antibiotic resistance represents one of the greatest threats to human health today, with inappropriate and over-use a major driver of the problem,” Dr McBride says.

“As antibiotic resistance is increasing, the development of new antibiotics is declining and this means that many of the medical advances that rely on antibiotics to control infection (such as organ transplantation, other surgery, and neonatal care) may be under threat.

“Thorough cleaning of hands with alcohol rub or soap and water can significantly reduce the spread of infections and resistant organisms in the hospital and the community.”

Dr McBride says reducing the risk of infection means fewer antibiotics need to be used and resistance is less likely to develop. Encouraging the appropriate prescribing of antibiotics is also a key theme of the weeks.

During the fortnight, a series of posters will be displayed around the hospital and a number of activities will be held, including a bed display within the public area of the hospital, highlighting safe hand hygiene.

Don’t give germs a hand

  • Use hand sanitiser and rub hands together until dry or wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds then dry them thoroughly.
  • Take antibiotics only as prescribed.

Media Line:  09 250 9857   EmailCommunications@middlemore.co.nz