Hand Washing Practices Low Among Indian Doctors: Study

As per experts, poor hand hygiene practices are a major threat to the health of the patients and doctors themselves.

Published: 09th August 2015 04:06 PM  |   Last Updated: 09th August 2015 04:06 PM   |  A+A-


NEW DELHI: Awareness regarding hand washing and hygienic practices is low among doctors and nurses in India, according to a study by AIIMS and Lady Hardinge Medical College (LHMC) which stressed on regular training sessions to ward off the threat of infections.

The study found that a majority of doctors still believe that cleaning hands with soap and water is the best way of ensuring hygiene even as the World Health Organisation recommends alcohol-based hand rub (ABHR) for hand antisepsis due to their broad spectrum of antimicrobial activity.

Of the total sample of doctors and nurses who were interviewed, only 15 per cent of doctors and 37 per cent of nurses knew that Global Hand Washing Day is on October 15.

As per experts, poor hand hygiene practices are a major threat to the health of the patients and doctors themselves.

"Adherence to hand hygiene practices in a healthcare facility can prevent spread of infections and also check transmission of microorganisms," experts said.

The total number of hand exposures in a hospital may range from several tens to thousands per day.

Narendra Saini, member of the Delhi Medical Council and Infection Control Speciality at Max Pushpanjali Hospital, said, "Repeated hand washing is very important in stopping the transmission of infection or acquiring infection to self. Clean hands save life.

"Infection enters our body through mouth, nose or through the eyes all of which is touched by hands. Infection organisms can survive for more than 8 hours if hands are not washed. Doctors and health care workers should repeatedly wash their hands," Saini said.

A doctor at AIIMS said alcohol-based rubs should be made available freely at hospitals.

"Availability of resources is important here. There has to be arrangements for hand washing or alcohol-based hand rub (ABHR) should be make available easily to a doctor after he deals with a patient before he starts dealing with another patient.

"Also the patients' relatives before coming to meet the patient should clean their hands and body properly and do the same after leaving the hospital so as to check spread of infection," the doctor said.

The study was published in the latest issue of International Journal of Pharma Research and Health Sciences, and covered over 100 doctors and nurses from March 2015 to May 2015.

Stay up to date on all the latest Nation news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp