Compliance with hand hygiene in emergency medical services : an international observational study

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Vikke , H S , Vittinghus , S , Giebner , M , Kolmos , H J , Smith , K , Castren , M & Lindström , V 2019 , ' Compliance with hand hygiene in emergency medical services : an international observational study ' , Emergency Medicine Journal , vol. 36 , no. 3 , pp. 171-175 .

Title: Compliance with hand hygiene in emergency medical services : an international observational study
Author: Vikke, Heidi Storm; Vittinghus, Svend; Giebner, Matthias; Kolmos, Hans Jorn; Smith, Karen; Castren, Maaret; Lindström, Veronica
Contributor organization: Department of Diagnostics and Therapeutics
University Management
HUS Emergency Medicine and Services
Date: 2019-03
Language: eng
Number of pages: 5
Belongs to series: Emergency Medicine Journal
ISSN: 1472-0205
Abstract: Introduction Healthcare-associated infection caused by insufficient hygiene is associated with mortality, economic burden, and suffering for the patient. Emergency medical service (EMS) providers encounter many patients in different surroundings and are thus at risk of posing a source of microbial transmission. Hand hygiene (HH), a proven infection control intervention, has rarely been studied in the EMS. Methods A multicentre prospective observational study was conducted from December 2016 to May 2017 in ambulance services from Finland, Sweden, Australia and Denmark. Two observers recorded the following parameters: HH compliance according to WHO guidelines (before patient contact, before clean/aseptic procedures, after risk of body fluids, after patient contact and after contact with patient surroundings). Glove use and basic parameters such as nails, hair and use of jewellery were also recorded. Results Sixty hours of observation occurred in each country, for a total of 87 patient encounters. In total, there were 1344 indications for HH. Use of hand rub or hand wash was observed: before patient contact, 3%; before clean/aseptic procedures, 2%; after the risk of body fluids, 8%; after patient contact, 29%; and after contact with patient-related surroundings, 38%. Gloves were worn in 54% of all HH indications. Adherence to short or up done hair, short, clean nails without polish and no jewellery was 99%, 84% and 62%, respectively. HH compliance was associated with wearing gloves (OR 45; 95% CI 10.8 to 187.8; p=0.000) and provider level (OR 1.7; 95% CI 1.1 to 2.4; p=0.007), but not associated with gender (OR 1.3; 95% CI 0.9 to 1.9; p=0.107). Conclusion HH compliance among EMS providers was remarkably low, with higher compliance after patient contacts compared with before patient contacts, and an over-reliance on gloves. We recommend further research on contextual challenges and hygiene perceptions among EMS providers to clarify future improvement strategies.
Subject: 3126 Surgery, anesthesiology, intensive care, radiology
Peer reviewed: Yes
Rights: cc_by_nc
Usage restriction: openAccess
Self-archived version: publishedVersion

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