INTERNATIONAL WEEK FOR INFECTION PREVENTION: THE PILLARS OF PREVENTION
In this International Week for Infections Prevention, we are sharing here below a brief overview of how to apply prevention to our daily lives, according to these main pillars:
a. Hygiene and general protection:
The first weapon against infections is a general personal hygiene, also applied to the environments in where we live and work. We must always remember to wash our hands when we know that we have come into contact with unclean objects and in any case, before and after touching food, body parts particularly subject to the entry of bacteria and pathogens (e.g. internal parts), debilitated or fragile people (e.g. newborns, sick people, etc.), objects that must remain sterile (e.g. medical devices for daily use such as syringes, gauze, patches, etc., however, to be used only once) or before and after having used the toilet, both at home and in a public place. Another important practice is to protect your body from the entry of dangerous bacteria and pathogens, i.e. in case of wounds, abrasions, gum and teeth injuries, through appropriate medications and interventions, and through vaccinations, safety protections in sexual practice, appropriate use of personal items, avoiding contact with people during periods of infectious diseases.
b. Hygiene of medical devices:
Medical devices used for outpatient examinations or for surgical operations must always be sterile and maintained. For this reason, it is a good practice for health facilities to use disposable devices, designed and studied to be easily managed, together with an accurate cleaning of investigation and analysis tools, which require specific procedures for washing and sterilization. Recent data regarding deaths caused in Italy by the onset of hospital-acquired infections, register up to a maximum of 7,000 cases a year. Despite daily commitment of health professionals to apply appropriate prevention procedures, the danger of infection in the treatment places remains high. Surely the cooperation of patients and their relatives is a fundamental support to try, together with the medical and nursing staff, and reduce all possible sources of infection.