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Date Created: 12/21/15
Hand Washing Facilities for Hygiene in the Medical Profession Ignaz Philipp Semmelweis was a Hungarian doctor and an early pioneer of the importance of hygiene and antiseptics in the medical profession. In the 1840s, no one could figure out why the clinic at the Vienna General Hospital where Semmelweis had been appointed was experiencing such a high maternal mortality rate. Semmelweis weighed all of the factors and made the observation that doctors were conducting autopsies on corpses and then delivering babies without washing their hands. With our modern knowledge of bacterial infection this seems shocking, but at the time no one knew about how germs were spread. He correctly concluded that this lack of hand washing was causing the pregnant mothers to come into contact with “cadaverous material” (ie. Bacteria) which caused their childbed fever. He established a policy of washing and disinfecting doctor’s hands with chlorinated lime before examining each patient. As soon as he did this, the maternal mortality rate at the clinic dropped 90%. These days, the importance of hand washing in the medical trade is well known. But what hand washing equipment should be available to medical professionals in order to ensure cleanliness? Medical Hand Wash Sinks In order to ensure the highest level of cleanliness, medical hand washing facilities must correspond to the following guidelines: Sinks or basins should not have any plugs, overflow or chain stays. The faucet should not be turned on by hand, but rather operated by elbow, sensor or knee. The spout should not be located directly over the drain. This could lead to the splashing of micro- organisms back up into the air from the drain. The waste outlet should be free draining without a plug. Each sink should be fitted with soap dispensers and hand disinfectant, mounted on the wall. There should be a paper towel dispenser that is mounted within easy access of the washbasin. There should be a waste bin for disposal of paper towels and it should be foot- operated so that the user doesn’t have to touch it with clean hands. The hand washing facilities should always be located outside of examination rooms and should be away from any areas where splashing might occur. Many important regulatory bodies within the healthcare profession, such as the NHS and the CQC, will have guidelines and specific recommendations for the appropriate equipment to use for medical hand washing facilities. These will apply to all practitioners, including surgeons, obstetricians, dental practitioners and much more. Hand washing is one of the most important and effective things that medical professionals can do to reduce the spread of infection, as Ignaz Semmelwies discovered so many years ago. It is crucial to make sure that the hand washing stations at all medical centers are appropriate and as sanitary as possible in order to prevent the spread of disease and infection within patients. Contact Details: Fit My kitchen Moulton Chantry House Southfields Old Leake, Boston, Lincolnshire. PE22 9LP Phone: 01205 871987 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: http://www.fitmykitchen.co.uk/
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