Sepsis is believed to be the cause of around 44,000 deaths in the UK every year. That’s a greater number than bowel, breast and prostate cancer combined, yet it remains a relatively unknown issue.¹ GOJO Industries-Europe Ltd is a strong advocate of the World Health Organization (WHO) campaign to increase awareness and strengthen preventative measures against sepsis and encourage the care sector to help raise awareness too.
Sepsis – the body’s overactive and toxic response to an infection – is a rare but serious complication. Without quick treatment, it can lead to multiple organ failure and death. It is therefore vital that everyone in a care setting takes all appropriate steps to prevent infection, including paying careful attention to hand hygiene.
‘Save Lives: Clean Your Hands’
GOJO Industries-Europe Ltd is a member of the Private Organizations for Patient Safety group, and a strong supporter of the annual WHO ‘Save Lives: Clean Your Hands’ campaign. This year the focus is ‘It’s in your hands – prevent sepsis in healthcare’. Hand hygiene compliance is a cornerstone of this effort, helping to break the chain of infection.
Everyone in a care setting should understand the importance of hand hygiene and have the right products available in the right place, at the right time, to carry it out.
Ensuring appropriate signage and correctly positioning hand washing, and sanitising solutions in care settings, should be a priority. Good hand hygiene companies will offer sound advice on the most effective approaches, and provide support materials.
When purchasing hand hygiene systems, good aesthetics, accessibility and ease of use are key. They should also be equipped with pleasant and effective hygienically advanced formulations. Innovative technology also helps. Touch-free dispensers are popular as they sense the presence of hands and dispense just the right amount of product every time. Their touch-free nature also increases their hygiene rating.
The type of soap and sanitiser formulations being dispensed is also crucial. Suppliers should be able to prove the effectiveness of their soaps or sanitisers against germs through independent scientific testing. Formulations that have been tested and passed in accordance with key hospital norms EN 1500, EN 14476 and EN 12791, provide assurance that they are safe for use in care locations.
Hospital-grade product efficacy is important, but only part of the solution. A wide range of hand washing and sanitising options, which are kind to healthcare workers’ skin and located throughout a care facility are needed to boost hand hygiene behaviours.
Partners to combat the problem
This year’s ‘Save Lives: Clean Your Hands’ campaign is a great opportunity for the care industry to use this day as a catalyst to raise awareness of the dangers on sepsis and take all possible actions to reduce the risks it poses. We’re here to work in partnership with the care industry to help reinforce these messages.
Free advocacy toolkits to support the WHO Save Lives: Clean Your Hands campaign are available on the WHO website: http://www.who.int/infection-prevention/campaigns/clean-hands/en/