Healthcare workers and public urged to maintain proper hand hygiene to prevent sepsis

     The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health today (May 3) appealed to healthcare workers (HCWs) and members of the public to pay attention to good hand hygiene in prevention and control of healthcare associated infections, including sepsis, to tie in with the annual Hand Hygiene Awareness Day on May 5. 

     The CHP adopted "It's in your hands - prevent sepsis in health care" as the slogan of the 2018 hand hygiene promotion campaign, echoing the World Health Organization (WHO)'s call to HCWs this year, "Take 5 moments to clean your hands to prevent sepsis in health care".

     "Sepsis is caused by the patient's dysregulated host response to infection. Without timely treatment, sepsis can rapidly cause tissue damage, organ failure, and even death," a spokesman for the CHP said.

     Healthcare associated infections are a risk factor for developing sepsis. Therefore, proper hand washing and maintaining good hand hygiene by HCWs play a key role in the prevention of sepsis.
     Apart from promoting the WHO's "five moments for hand hygiene" among HCWs and urging them to strictly adopt the approach, the CHP has also been actively enhancing the awareness and understanding among patients, their families and the general public towards hand hygiene, so as to strengthen the public's ability to manage their health.

     To enhance the awareness of HCWs and the public on the importance of hand hygiene in prevention and control of healthcare associated infections, the CHP has launched multi-pronged promotional activities, including producing a video named "Great thanks to our cleaned healing hands". HCWs across different public and private healthcare services in Hong Kong participated in the filming to advocate hand hygiene health messages. The video has been uploaded to the CHP's website, Facebook page and YouTube channel, and broadcast in various healthcare facilities.  

     Maintaining proper hand hygiene is a key effective prevention and control measure against infections. Since 2005, Hong Kong has pledged support for the first Global Patient Safety Challenge "Clean Care is Safer Care" of the WHO, and has been committed to promoting good hand hygiene to control the spread of infectious diseases. From 2010 onwards, Hand Hygiene Awareness Day has been marked annually on May 5 in Hong Kong to promote the importance of hand hygiene in both healthcare settings and the community.

     The public may visit the CHP's Hand Hygiene Awareness Day page for more information on hand hygiene.

Ends/Thursday, May 3, 2018
Issued at HKT 11:00