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Encyclopedia > Hand washing
Schoolchildren washing their hands before eating lunch.
Schoolchildren washing their hands before eating lunch.

Hand washing is the act of cleansing the hands with water or other liquid, with or without the use of soap or other detergents, for the purpose of removing soil or microorganisms. Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Cleanliness is the absence of dirt, including dust, stains and a bad smell. ... For other uses, see Hand (disambiguation). ... Impact of a drop of water Water is a chemical substance that is essential to all known forms of life. ... A liquid will usually assume the shape of its container A liquid is one of the main states of matter. ... Handmade soap Soap is a surfactant used in conjunction with water for washing and cleaning. ... Laundry detergents are just only one of many possibilities of use of the detergents Detergent is a compound, or a mixture of compounds, intended to assist cleaning. ... For the American hard rock band, see Soil (band). ... A cluster of Escherichia coli bacteria magnified 10,000 times. ...

Contents

Purpose

The main purpose of washing hands is to cleanse the hands of pathogens (including bacteria or viruses) and chemicals which can cause personal harm or disease. This is especially important for people who handle food or work in the medical field. Washing your hands is one of the most effective ways to maintain health and prevent infection.[citation needed] A pathogen or infectious agent is a biological agent that causes disease or illness to its host. ... Phyla/Divisions Actinobacteria Aquificae Bacteroidetes/Chlorobi Chlamydiae/Verrucomicrobia Chloroflexi Chrysiogenetes Cyanobacteria Deferribacteres Deinococcus-Thermus Dictyoglomi Fibrobacteres/Acidobacteria Firmicutes Fusobacteria Gemmatimonadetes Nitrospirae Omnibacteria Planctomycetes Proteobacteria Spirochaetes Thermodesulfobacteria Thermomicrobia Thermotogae Bacteria (singular, bacterium) are a major group of living organisms. ... Groups I: dsDNA viruses II: ssDNA viruses III: dsRNA viruses IV: (+)ssRNA viruses V: (-)ssRNA viruses VI: ssRNA-RT viruses VII: dsDNA-RT viruses A virus is a microscopic particle (ranging in size from 20 - 300 nm) that can infect the cells of a biological organism. ...


While hot water may more effectively clean your hands, this is primarily due to its increased capability as a solvent, and not due to hot water actually killing germs. Hot water is more effective at removing dirt, oils and/or chemicals, but contrary to popular belief, it does not kill micro organisms. A temperature that is comfortable for hand washing (about 45c) is not nearly hot enough to kill any micro organism. It would take more than double that temperature to effectively kill germs (100c, which is boiling).


Personal hand washing

To maintain good hygiene, hands should always be washed after using the toilet, changing a diaper or tending to someone who is sick; before eating; before handling or cooking food and after handling raw meat, fish or poultry. Conventionally, the use of soap and running water and the washing of all surfaces thoroughly, including under fingernails is seen as necessary. One should rub wet, soapy hands together outside the stream of running water for at least 20 seconds, before rinsing thoroughly and then drying with a clean or disposable towel. After drying a dry paper towel should be used to turn off water and open exit door. Moisturizing lotion is often recommended to keep the hands from drying out, should one's hands require washing more than a few times per day. [1] Hygiene is commonly understood as preventing infections in personal places through cleanliness. ... A lotion is a low- to medium-viscosity medicated or non-medicated topical preparation intended for application to unbroken skin. ...


Antibacterial soaps have been heavily promoted to a health-conscious public. To date, there is no evidence that using recommended antiseptics or disinfectants selects for antibiotic-resistant organisms in nature.[1] However, antibacterial soaps contain common antibiotics such as Triclosan, which has an extensive list of resistant strains of organisms. So, even if antibacterial soaps do not select for antibiotic resistant strains, they might not be as effective as they are marketed to be. These soaps are quite different from the non-water-based hand hygiene agents referred to below, which also do not promote antibiotic resistance. Antibiotic resistance is the ability of a micro-organism to withstand the effects of an antibiotic. ...


Medical hand washing

The purpose of hand washing in the health care setting is to remove or destroy (disinfect) pathogenic microrganisms ("germs" in common parlance) to avoid transmitting them to a patient. Water alone is fairly effective, simply by removing many agents loosely adherent to the skin. Ordinary soap aids in removal and also helps to kill pathogens. Other "medicated" soaps or hand disinfectants are used in certain settings when higher levels of disinfection are required (e.g. surgery). A pathogen (literally birth of pain from the Greek παθογένεια) is a biological agent that can cause disease to its host. ... A pathogen or infectious agent is a biological agent that causes disease or illness to its host. ...


The proper washing of hands in a medical setting generally consists of the use of generous amounts of soap and water to lather and rub each part of ones hands systematically. Hands should be rubbed together with digits interlocking. If there is debris under fingernails, a bristle brush is often used to remove it. Finally, it is necessary to rinse well and wipe dry with a paper towel. After drying, a dry paper towel should be used to turn off water and open exit door. medicines, see medication and pharmacology. ...


To 'scrub' one's hands for a surgical operation, one requires a tap that can be turned on and off without touching with the hands, some chlorhexidine or iodine wash, sterile towels for drying the hands after washing, a sterile brush for scrubbing and another sterile instrument for cleaning under the fingernails. All jewellery should be removed. This procedure requires washing the hands and forearms up to the elbows, and one must in this situation ensure that all parts of the hands and forearms are well scrubbed several times. When rinsing, it is ensured at all times that one does not allow water to drip back from the elbow to your hands. When done hands are dried with the sterile cloth and the surgical gown is donned. A cardiothoracic surgeon performs a mitral valve replacement at the Fitzsimons Army Medical Center. ... Chlorhexidine (free base) structure Chlorhexidine Gluconate is an antiseptic used as an active ingredient in mouthwash designed to kill plaque and other oral bacteria. ... General Name, Symbol, Number iodine, I, 53 Chemical series halogens Group, Period, Block 17, 5, p Appearance violet-dark gray, lustrous Atomic mass 126. ...


In the late 1990s and early part of the 21st century, non-water-based hand hygiene agents began to gain popularity. Most are based on isopropyl alcohol formulated into a gel or lotion for ease of use and to decrease the drying effect of the alcohol. The increasing use of these agents is based on speed and ease of use it is easier to do a good job quickly with these agents than with soap and water. However, soap and water are as good as the non-water-based agents when used properly. Isopropyl alcohol (also isopropanol or rubbing alcohol) is a common name for propan-2-ol, a colorless, flammable chemical compound with a strong odor. ...


Despite their effectiveness, the non-water agents do not clean hands, they simply disinfect them. Visible soiling of any sort on the hands must be washed with soap and water. Alcohol-based disinfectants are similarly ineffective in the presence of large, visible amounts of extraneous material.


The New England Journal of Medicine reports that hand washing remains at unacceptable levels in most medical environments, with large numbers of doctors and nurses routinely forgetting to wash their hands before touching patients.[2] One study has shown that proper hand washing and other simple procedures can decrease the rate of catheter-related bloodstream infections by 66 percent.[3][2] The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) is a peer-reviewed medical journal published by the Massachusetts Medical Society with the highest impact factor for a general medical journal. ...


Hand washing as compensation

Excessive hand washing is commonly seen as a symptom of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).


It has also been found that people, after having recalled or contemplated unethical acts, tend to wash hands more often than others, and tend to value hand washing equipment more. Furthermore, those who are allowed to wash their hands after such a contemplation are less likely to engage in other "cleansing" compensatory actions, such as volunteering.[4][5]


Symbolic hand washing

Main article: ablution

Ablution may refer to the practice of removing sins or diseases through the use of ritual washing, or the practice of using ritual washing as one part of a ceremony to remove sin or disease. ... Ablution may refer to the practice of removing sins or diseases through the use of ritual washing, or the practice of using ritual washing as one part of a ceremony to remove sin or disease. ... 11th century manuscript of the Hebrew Bible with Targum This article is about the term Hebrew Bible. For the Hebrew Bible itself, see Tanakh (Jewish term) or Old Testament (Christian term). ... Ablution in Judaism. ... This article is about Hygiene in Islam. ... Islam (Arabic:  ) is a monotheistic religion based upon the teachings of Muhammad, a 7th century Arab religious and political figure. ... Ablution may refer to the practice of removing sins or diseases through the use of ritual washing, or the practice of using ritual washing as one part of a ceremony to remove sin or disease. ... Seat of the Universal House of Justice in Haifa, Israel, governing body of the Baháís The Baháí Faith is a religion founded by Baháulláh in 19th century Persia. ... Ablution may refer to the practice of removing sins or diseases through the use of ritual washing, or the practice of using ritual washing as one part of a ceremony to remove sin or disease. ... Hinduism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia /**/ @import /skins-1. ... Misogi is a Shinto practice involving purification in a waterfall or other natural running water. ... Please wikify (format) this article or section as suggested in the Guide to layout and the Manual of Style. ...

Idioms

When someone "washes their hands of" something, this means that they are declaring their unwillingness to take responsibility for it or share complicity in it. Matthew 27:24 gives an account of Pontius Pilate washing his hands of the decision to crucify Jesus: "When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it." The Gospel of Matthew (literally, according to Matthew; Greek, Κατά Μαθθαίον or Κατά Ματθαίον) is one of the four Gospel accounts of the New Testament. ... Ecce Homo (Behold the Man!), Antonio Ciseris depiction of Pontius Pilate presenting a scourged Jesus to the people of Jerusalem. ... This article is about Jesus of Nazareth. ...


See also

Escherichia coli O157:H7 is an emerging cause of foodborne illness. ... Antibiotic resistance is the ability of a micro-organism to withstand the effects of an antibiotic. ... Ignaz Semmelweis Ignaz Philipp Semmelweis (originally Semmelweis Ignác Fülöp) (July 1, 1818 - August 13, 1865) was the Hungarian-Austrian physician who demonstrated that puerperal fever (also known as childbed fever) was contagious and that its incidence could be drastically reduced by enforcing appropriate hand washing behavior by... This article is being considered for deletion in accordance with Wikipedias deletion policy. ...

References

  1. ^ Infection control and hospital epidemiology : the official journal of the Society of Hospital Epidemiologists of America. (Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol) 2006 Oct; 27(10): 1107-19
  2. ^ Goldmann, Donald (July 2006). "System Failure versus Personal Accountability — The Case for Clean Hands". New England Journal of Medicine 355 (2): 121-123. Retrieved on 2007-01-05. 
  3. ^ Pronovost, Peter; Dale Needham, M.D., Ph.D., Sean Berenholtz, M.D., David Sinopoli, M.P.H., M.B.A., Haitao Chu, M.D., Ph.D., Sara Cosgrove, M.D., Bryan Sexton, Ph.D., Robert Hyzy, M.D., Robert Welsh, M.D., Gary Roth, M.D., Joseph Bander, M.D., John Kepros, M.D., and Christine Goeschel, R.N., M.P.A (December 2006). "An Intervention to Decrease Catheter-Related Bloodstream Infections in the ICU". New England Journal of Medicine 355 (26): 2725-2732. Retrieved on 2007-01-05. 
  4. ^ Benedict Carey. Lady Macbeth Not Alone in Her Quest for Spotlessness. The New York Times, 12 September 2006
  5. ^ Chen-Bo Zhong and Katie Liljenquist. Washing Away Your Sins: Threatened Morality and Physical Cleansing. Science, 8 September 2006: Vol. 313. no. 5792, pp. 1451 - 1452

The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) is a peer-reviewed medical journal published by the Massachusetts Medical Society with the highest impact factor for a general medical journal. ... 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the Anno Domini (common) era. ... January 5 is the 5th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) is a peer-reviewed medical journal published by the Massachusetts Medical Society with the highest impact factor for a general medical journal. ... 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the Anno Domini (common) era. ... January 5 is the 5th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... The New York Times is a newspaper published in New York City by Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Jr. ... Science is the journal of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). ...

External links

  • Alliance for Prudent Use of Antibiotics on hand washing
  • Centers for Disease Control on hand hygiene in healthcare settings
  • Hand Washing Video - Grey Bruce Health Unit, Canada

  Results from FactBites:
 
Hand Washing Program (10280 words)
Routine bathing and hand washing have a direct influence on the microflora of the stratum corneum and determine the kinds and amount of microorganisms that remain or are dispersed with the dead cell fragments.
Hands may become dry and irritated with frequent hand washing, and therefore there is a tendency for personnel to want to use hand lotions.
While a hand washing sink in the restroom is required by the plumbing code, the kitchen hand sink at the entrance to the kitchen is the critical control area for pathogen removal.
Hand washing - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (814 words)
Hand washing is the act of cleansing the hands with water or other liquid, with or without the use of soap or other detergents, for the purpose of removing soil or microorganisms.
The purpose of hand washing in the health care setting is to remove or destroy (disinfect) pathogenic microrganisms ("germs" in common parlance) to avoid transmitting them to a patient.
The proper washing of hands in a medical setting generally consists of the use of generous amounts of soap and water to lather and rub each part of ones hands systematically.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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