Healthcare-associated infections are a critical challenge for the public health sector. Most are acquired through contact, predominantly with the hands of health care personnel. Hand hygiene, therefore, is the single most effective measure for preventing and controlling infectious diseases. Recently, cases of acute hepatitis C occurred in patients who had undergone contrast-enhanced computed tomography. This was probably related to inadequate handling by health care staff. Rigorous compliance with standard precautions is therefore compulsory even in radiology, a setting traditionally considered at low risk for the transmission of pathogens. Adherence to standard precautions is still poor and the persistence of inappropriate practices responsible for preventable incidents is very common in radiology, often owing to underestimation of risk. Radiology units must promote compliance with correct hand hygiene through appropriate education programmes and provision of adequate areas and hand hygiene products. The evidence base to support the use of alcohol-based hand rub is demonstrating that these formulations are effective in improving hand hygiene compliance and preventing infections.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging