Category Archives: Infection prevention

APIC 2017 Film Festival Winner: “Look at Me Hand Hygiene”

APIC, the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology, announced the winner of its seventh annual Film Festival competition. The video, “Look at Me Hand Hygiene,” was created by Providence Health & Services Alaska, and stresses proper handwashing hygiene and techniques for hospital visitors and staff.

The video was chosen for its inventiveness, originality, general appeal, significance to the infection prevention community, and educational message.

The music video highlights the importance of thorough hand washing, stressing that hands should be washed for 20-25 seconds.

It also outlines W.L.S.R.D., which is  “wet, lather, scrub, rinse, dry,” as the basic steps for hand hygiene and infection prevention.

You can view all of the video submissions on the APIC website.

Brevis has also created multiple educational videos around hand hygiene. You can see them below.

Source: http://www.infectioncontroltoday.com/news/2017/06/apic-2017-film-festival-winner-highlights-hand-hygiene-as-infection-prevention-tool.aspx

 

 

My Five Moments for Hand Hygiene

The World Health Organization (WHO) has included an easy strategy for hand hygiene improvement in the WHO Guidelines on Hand Hygiene in Health Care (Advanced Draft). My 5 Moments for Hand Hygiene defines key moments when health care workers ought to be engaging in hand hygiene.


Image courtesy of WHO:
http://www.who.int/gpsc/5may/5Moments_Image.gif

Using this model, health care workers are reminded to clean their hands at the following times:

  1. Before touching a patient
  2. Before clean/aseptic procedures
  3. After body fluid exposure or risk
  4. After touching a patient
  5. After touching patient surroundings

Though the instruction may seem like a review of basic principles, it helps overcome misleading language and complicated descriptions. Easy to learn, logical, and widely applicable, My 5 Moments serves as a reminder of one of the most important things any health care worker can do to protect themselves and others from infection: practice proper hand hygiene.

Products to Teach Handwashing

Sources:

Flu Pandemic: On Its Way?

Are you a germophobe quiz

 

When we think of the flu we tend to think of the seasonal flu, the one that arrives in the fall and hangs around through spring, the virus for which we get our annual flu shot.

 

When we think of a pandemic, we think of a crisis situation, a worldwide outbreak.

 

Is a pandemic flu even possible? Not only is it possible, it’s happened before. And according to an article by CNN’s Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, it will happen again in the next 20 to 30 years.  

 

In 1918 the Spanish Flu caused 20% to 40% of the world’s population to fall ill, and more than 50 million people died. The Asian Flu killed 2 million in 1958-59. The Hong Kong Flu resulted in the death of a million people, 34,000 of which were in the United States, between September, 1968, and March, 1969.

 

The good news is, we’re better prepared than we have been in the past. The ability to quickly identify viruses, and develop and produce vaccines has seen vast improvement in recent years. The most ideal situation to be prepared for the worst would mean partnerships between governments, collaboration between the private and public sectors, adequate research and funding, as well as the general acceptance and recognition of the likelihood of a flu pandemic in our lifetime. With these in place, it would be fitting to quote epidemiologist Larry Brilliant, who lead the effort to eradicate Small Pox: pandemics can be optional.

Of course, whether you find yourself with flu (seasonal flu is still around in spring months!) or if you’re simply trying to avoid getting sick, remember to wash your hands properly with soap and water to prevent the spread of germs, or use an antibacterial hand rub (sanitizer). Avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth is another way to avoid spreading germs, and when you’re sick, stay home as much as possible.

 

Sources:

http://www.cnn.com/2017/04/07/health/flu-pandemic-sanjay-gupta/index.html

https://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/habits.htm

Spring Cleaning for hand hygiene: sanitizing the areas we touch most often

Spring Cleaning brevis
It’s that time of year again, time for spring cleaning! For you this might mean cleaning out your garage, or a complete closet overhaul. Whatever your situation, spring cleaning is also a great time for a routine deep-cleaning of some of the spots in your home most likely to accumulate germs.

 

It may not surprise you to know that a high concentration of germs is likely to be found in areas we frequently touch with our hands. We know washing our hands is the best way to prevent the spread of infection, so it’s easy to understand the need for cleanliness in areas we often touch with our hands.

 

Here are just five:

 

Bathroom Sinks Some studies suggest bathroom sinks are often dirtier than toilet seats! Use an antibacterial spray for a five-minute soak before wiping it down, and polish handles and spouts with vinegar.

 

Kitchen Countertops Before using and after meal prep, make sure your workspace is clean. How you clean it depends on the kind of countertop you have. While you’re at it, pay special attention to corners, and also any appliances you use.

 

Doorknobs and Drawer Handles Whether you’re coming in from outside or taking the trash out, a whole world of germs is daily introduced to doorknobs. Again, your cleaning method depends on the kind of knobs and handles you have (brass and silver, for example, require special cleaners), but clean these areas weekly.

 

Switchplates Turning a light on or off can be done in under one second, but think about how often we do this throughout the day. Use a warm, wet cloth with dish soap to clean switch plates once per week.

 

Devices and Screens These might be the most-touched– and least-cleaned– items in most homes. Do not get electronics wet while cleaning; when a damp cloth is needed, be sure to immediately dry. Use canned air or a microfiber cloth for keyboards. Touchscreen wipes can be used on cellphones and other screens.

 

If you haven’t already begun your spring cleaning, these are some good places to start. Keeping these areas clean reduces re-contamination of your hands.

 

 

Sources:

http://www.familycircle.com/home/cleaning/vanquish-the-germiest-spots-in-your-home-0/

https://www.cdc.gov/features/handwashing/


Photo courtesy of Pixabay:

https://pixabay.com/en/interior-villa-rendering-1026446/

New Tool in Hand Hygiene: Kohler’s Touchless Soap Dispenser

NEW Tool in Hand Hygiene: Kohler's Touchless Soap Dispenser

We at Brevis are natural proponents of tools used to increase the effectiveness of hand hygiene. Our GlitterBug Gel and GlitterBug Potion, together with our disclosure centers, do an excellent job of teaching proper handwashing technique and effectiveness. Our Hand and Nail Scrub Brush is ideal for hard-to-clean areas. We even have a Handwash Instruction Manual for quick reference.

 

Kohler, a global leader in kitchen and bath design and technology, has recently launched their “first-to-market” Touchless Soap Dispenser. In addition to a customizable setting selection for liquid or foaming soap, the dispenser features an LED light which illuminates for 20 seconds– the amount of time the CDC recommends for hand washing– before turning off.

 

A sensor on the dispenser preserves battery life and prevents soap from being wasted. A rubber ring on the bottom helps stabilize the dispenser on the countertop while also protecting the battery compartment. An anti-drip spout prevents soap from dripping onto the counter. It’s no wonder the Touchless Soap Dispenser is a winner of the 2017 Global Innovations Award, honoring housewares for product design excellence.

Brevis welcomes innovative handwashing products and applauds Kohler for It’s thoughtfully designed Touchless Soap Dispenser. Brevis products and soap working hand-in-hand to prevent the spread of disease.

 

Sources:

http://www.prweb.com/releases/2017/04/prweb14206504.htm

https://www.cdc.gov/features/handwashing/

https://www.brevis.com/products/139587/gbgel-glitterbug-gel-bottle?ref=/glitterbug/supplies

https://www.brevis.com/products/467162/gbpotion-glitterbug-disclosing-lotion-8ounce-pumpbottle?ref=/glitterbug/supplies

https://www.brevis.com/products/668582/gbx-glitterbug-disclosure-center-with-glowbar?ref=/glitterbug/disclosure-centers

https://www.brevis.com/products/771490/gbbrush-glitterbug-hand-and-nail-scrub-brush?ref=/glitterbug/supplies

https://www.brevis.com/products/220150/gbmanual-glitterbug-handwash-instruction-manual?ref=/glitterbug/supplies

Watch the First Annual GlitterBug Idol Handwashing Contest sponsored by Brevis Corporation!

Did you know the mouth is the dirtiest part of the body.

A close second?

The hands.

Recently, Brevis sponsored the first first annual “Glitterbug Idol” handwashing competition.

“The goal is to educate everyone,” said Barry Short from Brevis , the company that organized this year’s inaugural event. “Most people think they’re a pro at hand washing after several years, but that is rarely the case.”

 

 

When they’re done washing, contestants rub their hands with GlitterBug Potion. Their hands are checked under a blacklight, which reveals residue of the lotion and, thus, any spots they’ve not cleaned.

It’s amazing how many spots are missed, Short points out. “Sometimes they’ll get the harder spots and forget the obvious, like the backs of their hands,” he says.

 

GlitterBug Gel and GlitterBug Potion are excellent products to aid in teaching proper hand hygiene to kids and adults alike.

Both are intended to show how effective your current hand-cleaning methods are, and in turn, both products teach better techniques for hand-washing.

 

Do you have any other fun ideas for teaching hand hygiene? Please comment below!

Handwashing: A History

 

The benefits of proper hand hygiene are well-documented. From teaching it to children in schools and homes, to requiring it of employees in health care and food service industries, handwashing is an ongoing topic of discussion in several professional and personal settings.

 

How long have we been doing this? When did humanity begin to learn the importance of hand washing?

 

handwashing-1468144-1279x958

 

In 1847 a Hungarian physician named Ignaz Semmelweis was working at a hospital in Vienna, Austria. Dr. Semmelweis suspected a link between the high incidence of postpartum fever and death among patients, and the interns who cared for those patients…interns who also, as part of their duties, performed autopsies. After having the interns disinfect their hands with a chlorinated lime solution, Dr. Semmelweis saw an immediate reduction in fatal postpartum fever among patients. His findings, however, were met with rejection and ridicule. He was let go from the hospital, and the harassment he received in the Vienna medical community drove him to Budapest. Eventually he was committed to a mental institution, where he died. It wasn’t until 1859, when Louis Pasteur– a chemist, not a doctor– developed his germ theory of disease, that the advantages of handwashing were recognized.

 

Today we know the benefits of handwashing: many transient microorganisms are easily removed with good hygiene practices, and proper hand washing greatly reduces the risk of healthcare associated infections. We know we should wash our hands prior to handling or eating food, after changing a diaper or using the restroom, after coughing or sneezing, after playing outdoors, after playing with animals, and any other time our hands may have been contaminated.

 

Hand washing is most effective when done correctly. While washing hands, many often miss fingertips, thumbs, the backs of hands, and wrists. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends at least 20 seconds of hand washing to remove disease-causing germs.

 

Are you washing your hands effectively? If you need a refresher course, be sure to check out GlitterBug Gel and Potion.

 

Sources:

http://ravallirepublic.com/lifestyles/health-med-fit/article_09d6305c-d22e-11e6-9cb9-5336ed144387.html

http://www.bbc.co.uk/timelines/z9kj2hv#ztn487h

https://www.cdc.gov/features/handwashing/

http://www.brevis.com/blog/2016/08/glitterbug-gel-or-potion-that-is-the-question/

Can Being Cold Make You Sick?

 

We bundle up when it’s cold outside so we can stay comfortable by being warm. But does staying warm also contribute to being healthy?

FLU

Prolonged exposure to cold can lead to serious health problems like hypothermia and frostbite. Infants and older adults are particularly susceptible to sickness in winter months. But the common cold is caused by rhinovirus, which replicates more readily at cooler temperatures– like in a nasal cavity, rather than a place closer to a warmer core body temperature.  

 

Ellen Foxman, an assistant professor at Yale University School of Medicine, and her colleagues have embarked on a study to determine whether colder temperatures make the virus more effective or the immune system less effective. Examining the innate immune system (present in every cell) in airways in mice, and in human cells, yielded similar results: at a warmer core body temperature, innate immune pathways blocking viral growth are more active, and an enzyme that degrades the viral genome works better.

 

So go ahead and put that scarf around your nose– the warmth might help you avoid that cold after all. Even more, Foxman recommends washing your hands so germs aren’t transmitted to your eyes, nose, or mouth. She explains, “If the virus isn’t in your nose, it can’t cause infection.”

 

Sources:

http://www.popsci.com/can-being-cold-really-make-you-sick

https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/winter/index.html

What About Drying Your Hands?

Have you ever noticed someone exiting a restroom while shaking their wet hands? Is drying your hands important after you wash your hands? Maybe you’ve done it, too– you’ve taken the time to properly wash, but you’re in a hurry, and don’t want to take the extra time to get paper towels or stand near an air dryer.

Hand drying is an important part of hand hygiene, and shouldn’t be skipped. The reason is simple: germs can be transferred more easily to and from wet hands than dry hands.

Which method, then, should you choose? Should you dry your hands with towels (paper or otherwise), or use an air dryer? There isn’t conclusive research on this topic, as most studies compare residual microbes (not just germs) remaining on hands following different drying methods. Microbes are tiny living organisms which may or may not cause disease, and it has not been proven that removing microbes from hands is linked to better health.

What is clear, however, is the point that using a clean towel or air drying hands is the proper final step in effective hand-washing. So the next time you’re tempted to shake your hands dry or rub your hands on your clothes, pause and take the 60 seconds or so needed to face the world with clean, dry hands.

GlitterBug handwashing products

Source:
Show me the science handwashing (cdc.gov)

GlitterBug Potion

Not long ago we shared a primer on how to use GlitterBug Gel — a great product for measuring the effectiveness of how hand sanitizer is applied. But what about those of us who don’t use hand sanitizer? If you prefer to wash your hands using soap and water, GlitterBug Potion is for you!

gb.potion

We usually think of potion as a substance used in mythology or magic; the stuff of fairy tales and imagination. GlitterBug Potion, however, is a real product used to teach good handwashing technique. The potion consists of a UV fluorescent powder mixed in a special hand lotion.

 

To see how GlitterBug Potion works, apply the Potion as you would any other lotion. Next, wash your hands as you normally would with soap and water. Dry your hands thoroughly, then check under the light (such as the GlitterBug Disclosure Center). Are any areas of your hands glowing? Those are the areas you need to wash more thoroughly.

 

Commonly missed areas include the knuckles, sides of the hands, and fingernail area. Consider using a GlitterBug Hand and Nail Scrub Brush to reach those tough spots.

 

For cleaner hands, a magic wand won’t help you, but GlitterBug Potion will!