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National Infection Prevention and Control Manual

National Infection Prevention and Control Manual


Updates to section 1.2 Hand Hygiene

04 Sep 2020

The following changes have been made to section 1.2 to reflect changes in the hand hygiene literature reviews

Before performing hand hygiene:

  • 'bracelets or bangles such as the Kara which are worn for religious reasons should be able to be pushed higher up the arm and secured in place);

Skin care:

  • 'Warm/tepid water should be used to reduce the risk of dermatitis; hot water should be avoided.
  • Pat hands dry thoroughly after hand washing using disposable paper towels; avoid rubbing which may lead to skin irritation/damage.
  • Do not use refillable dispensers or provide communal tubs of hand cream in the care setting.

Surgical hand antisepsis:

  • Nail brushes should not be used for surgical hand antisepsis.
  • Nail picks (single-use) can be used if nails are visibly dirty.
  • Soft, non-abrasive, sterile (single-use) sponges may be used to apply antimicrobial liquid soap to the skin if licensed for this purpose.
  • ABHR can be used between surgical procedures if licensed for this use or between glove changes if hands are not visibly soiled.