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08 Dec 2021

Portlaoise hospital's message - Clean Hands Saves Lives

Midland hospital marks International Infection Prevention Week with you to make your intention infection prevention

Portlaoise hospital message: Make your intention infection prevention

Dr. John Connaughton, Clinical Director with Fiona Moore, Claire Dowling, Ruth Curran and Sandra McCarthy

International Infection Prevention Week 17th to 23rd October takes place around the world to highlight how we can protect our health through reducing infection.  This year’s theme is ‘Make your intention infection prevention’ and its aim is to highlight the important science and the people who prevent infection across residential services, community services, hospitals, laboratories and all services.  Infection prevention and control is a vital part of all health services.

The HSE says infection prevention and control practitioners play a critical role in working with their colleagues to keep our health and social care services safe from the threat of infectious disease whether that is COVID-19, influenza, wound infection and IV lines.  

It adds that scientific evidence demonstrates that appropriate hand hygiene is the single most effective action to stop the spread of infection.

More below picture:

Pictured: Maureen Revilles, Director of Midwifery with Susan Samuel, Minimol George, Ruth Curran, Dr Eimear McSharry, Sinead Maher, and Claire Dowling

Claire Dowling is a Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) in Infection Prevention/Control at the Midland Regional Hospital Portlaoise.

“International Infection Prevention week gives us the opportunity to highlight some of the key actions we can all take to reduce infection.  We have all learnt the importance of reducing infection as we lived through the COVID-19 pandemic. Today, we are delighted to launching the Portlaoise RESIST hand hygiene programme and RESIST patient information leaflets. As part of our promotion with staff we assessed hand hygiene technique of other healthcare workers using the UV cabinet and highlighted the importance of the 5 moments for hand hygiene in healthcare,” she said.

Ruth Curran is another Infection Prevention/Control at the Laois hospital.

“The frontline of preventing healthcare associated infection is the skill and commitment of health and social care workers who deliver hands on care to the most vulnerable patients. One of the most important parts of infection prevention and control of course is make sure that those hands, that do the hands on care, are clean hands so today with highlight the importance of infection, prevention and control and also the RESIST  PVC/CVC insertion and maintenance bundles, highlighting the importance of aseptic technique. Thank you to all staff who continue to support these key initiatives and promote the crucial role we all play in the fight against these deadly virus,” she said.

As part of the initiative the Infection, Prevention and Control Team and the clinical leads at Tullamore and Portlaoise hospitals are sharing a video (WATCH AT END OF STORY) with staff showing the risk of infection spreading by using a fluorescent powder and UV lamp to demonstrate moments of contamination if the 5 moments of hand hygiene are missed.

Sandra McCarthy, Director of Nursing at the Midland Regional Hospital Portlaoise, also highlighted hygiene.

“At a personal and community level we have all learnt how important infection prevention has been as we responded to the COVID-19 pandemic. Our staff are doing everything to protect themselves and their patients and opportunities such as International Infection Prevention Week give us all a chance to reflect and reaffirm our continued intention to prevent infection in our Hospitals.

"In our video, we want to highlight the potential exposure if you do not properly hand wash or apply WHO 5 moments of hand hygiene. We would also encourage patients to be aware of these protective measures so patients are fully informed and play a part in their care by performing hand hygiene appropriately. Patients and our community can continue to support us by keeping their hands clean, making sure to cough or sneeze into a tissue or your elbows and staying home if we are unwell. These protective behaviours have helped us in responding to Covid-19 and help to stop the spread of all infection,” she said. MORE BELOW PICTURE.

Pictured: Michael Knowles, General Manager with Breda Duffy, Melissa Dunne, Dolores Fall, Sandra McCarthy, Ruth Curran and Claire Dowling

Dr John Connaughton, Clinical Director at Portlaoise hospoital, spoke about the importance of keeping spread at bay.

“Healthcare associated infections affects hundreds of millions of patients worldwide annually. The rate of transmission in the healthcare setting has led to increases in avoidable infections such as surgical site infection and those involving devices and lines. Hand hygiene is the cornerstone of prevention. Appropriate hand hygiene prevents up to 50% of avoidable infections being acquired during healthcare delivery. Knowing, understanding and applying the WHO 5 moments of hand hygiene will prevent avoidable infections for patients in our care,” he said.

The HSE says patients and their families/visitors play their part in reducing the spread of infection in hospital. 

There are things you can do to protect yourself from picking up an infection or superbug while you are in or visiting hospital:

  • Clean your hands regularly and use the alcohol gel in the hospital. Always do this after you go to the toilet and before you eat.
  • Do not share your personal things with other patients – for example, your phone, your earphones, and so on.
    Keep away from other patients’ beds.
  • Only visit your relative when in the hospital
  • Do not let anyone sit on your bed, and don’t sit on another patient’s bed.
  • It’s OK to remind staff to clean their hands.
  • It’s OK to tell a staff member if you see anything that is not clean.

See hse.ie/handhygiene for more information about good hand hygiene. Check out the e-bug website lots of games, fun facts and information on infection control, hand hygiene and lessons for teachers. 

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