Infections in patients that have an IV access (PICC lines, ports or peripheral IVs) can be very serious, even life threatening. Handwashing is the one thing you can do that is most effective in preventing infections. We recommend following the following guidelines, endorsed by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
- Turn the faucet on and adjust the water until it is comfortably warm. Do not use water that is too hot – it tends to open the skin pores and remove skin oils. Repeated exposure to hot water may increase the risk of dermatitis.
- Wet hands and wrist thoroughly with water.
- Apply a liquid antimicrobial soap as recommended by the manufacturer and lather well.
- Rub hands together vigorously, for at least 15 seconds covering all surfaces of thehands and fingers. (If you sing the “Happy Birthday” song twice to yourself whilewashing, that should do it!)
- Rinse hands with water and dry with a clean, disposable paper towel.
- Use the paper towel to turn off the faucet.