Risks and prevention
Infectious risk factors are not all controllable; however, those resulting from inadequate hygiene can be mastered.
Hand hygiene is one of the first measures undertaken in the context of nosocomial infections. It proved its efficiency indisputably in the middle of the 18th century. The use of hand disinfectant by the medical staff such as hydroalcoholic solutions and compliance with WHO(1) recommendations are the best ways to prevent HAIs(2).
Despite the numerous studies conducted confirming the efficiency of hand hygiene in the prevention of HAI, compliance of hand hygiene remains below 40%. This result varies according to the medical situation of the patients, the care load and consequently the hospital department in which they are being hospitalized. 

Departments mostly affected
  • Intensive Care for adults, pediatry and neonatology
  • Urology
  • Burns unit
  • Obstetrics
  • Surgery
Hand hygiene history
1847 I.P. Semmelweiss requires medical staff to wash hands with chlorinated water in maternity wards.
1876 Louis Pasteur develops his microbial theory on contagious diseases.
1995 Elaboration of a plan against Healthcare-Associated Infections (France)
2000 WHO publishes recommendations for hand hygiene
2003 Pr P. Brouqui introduces systematized use of HAS(3) sprays at hôpital Nord, Marseille (France)
2008 WHO publishes 2nd recommendations for hand hygiene
2009 French national strategic plan(4) against nosocomial diseases
2012 Installation of the first automated hand hygiene traceability solutions (France)
2017 Publication of "Hand Hygiene - A handbook for medical professionals" 

(1) WHO: World Health Organisation
(2) HAI: Healthcare Associated Infections
(3) HAS: Hydro-Alcoholic Solution