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Hand hygiene is considered the single most effective method to stop the spread of microorganisms
Hand Hygiene Market in Western Europe - a new market research report on 2014-04-30 10:09:02
The Western European hand hygiene market is in a growth phase. The world of infection prevention has moved ahead from just infection-prevention solutions to compliance-monitoring devices. Hand hygiene is considered the single most effective method to stop the spread of microorganisms and to prevent healthcare-acquired infections (HCAI).
It has been in use in healthcare settings for more than a decade. However, compliance is found to be low in Europe, according to a survey conducted by the World Health Organization (WHO). The annual HCAI in Europe are estimated to increase the average length of stay by eight days, which further increases patient expenditure. The hand hygiene market is expected to grow, barring any unforeseen outbreaks similar to the H1N1 or H5N1 virus, which would further increase the growth rate.
Government requirements and regulations, as well as insurance company mandates, have made a healthcare facility´s utilisation of some form of hand hygiene monitoring system an absolute necessity in today´s world. An accurate hand hygiene compliance monitoring (HHCM) solution that can assess a healthcare worker´s compliance, provide feedback, and evaluate and investigate infection outbreaks is preferred.
The HHCM solutions market is still in its nascent stages and has not been incorporated in most hospitals across Western Europe. Companies dealing in this hand hygiene monitoring system are expected to have significant growth due to regulations in place across Europe, but this delay is largely due to scientific evidence supporting the return on investment (ROI) of the solution.
The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control reports an average prevalence of 7.1% in European countries. Infections such as urinary tract infections (UTIs), respiratory tract infections, surgical site infections (SSIs), and blood stream infections (BSIs) are classified as nosocomial infections.
The prevalence is highest for respiratory infections, followed by UTIs with a prevalence. According to a survey conducted by the Health Protection Agency in the United Kingdom, HCAI prevalence is highest in the intensive care unit (ICU), followed by surgical wards.
It is interesting to note that more than half of deaths caused by HCAI are caused by multidrug-resistant strains. HCAI affects healthcare workers as much as patients. There are millions healthcare workers injured every year with used needles, which carry the potential risk of acquiring life-threatening infections.
The European Parliament has set guidelines to achieve a reduction of cases by 2015. In Europe, HCAIs cause millions of extra days of hospital stay and attributable deaths, and they contribute to an additional deaths every year. Annual financial losses due to HCAI are also significant, including direct costs only, due to extended hospital stays.
Hand hygiene is the single most effective method to stop the spread of microorganisms and to prevent HCAI. Increased frequency of hand washing and hand hygiene among healthcare workers has been associated with decreased transmission of nosocomial pathogens. There is scientific evidence supported by studies by Pessoa-Silva et al. An interventional study was conducted with a nine-month follow-up among all the healthcare workers at the neonatal unit of a hospital in Europe. The study showcased that the hand hygiene compliance rate increased during the term, and the incidence of infections reduced during the same period.
Soaps are detergent-based products containing esterified fatty acids and sodium or potassium hydroxide. Their cleaning activity is attributed to their detergent properties. The majority of alcohol-based hand antiseptics contain either isopropanol, ethanol, n-propanol, or a combination of two of these products. The antimicrobial activity of alcohols can be attributed to their ability to denature proteins.
Kampf et al. (2009) concluded in their study that improved compliance in hand hygiene, with proper use of alcohol-based hand rubs (ABHR), can reduce the nosocomial infection rate. In a National Health Service (NHS) study in England, it was estimated that a small rise in healthcare workers´ hand hygiene compliance could save a small 200-bed hospital a large amount of money per year.

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