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Hygiene – gold standard not only in prevention of COVID-19 infection

Barbara Nieradko-Iwanicka

  1. Chair and Department of Hygiene, Medical University of Lublin, Poland
Data publikacji online: 2021/09/08
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In 1847 Ignaz Semmelweis conducted the first clinical trial concerning the effect of hand hygiene on mortality rate among the patients of the obstetric clinic at the University of Vienna Allgemeine Krankenhaus. He observed that maternal mortality rates, mostly attributable to puerperal fever, were substantially higher in the clinic where medical students were trained (16%) compared with the other (7%) where midwives were trained [1]. Semmelweis also noted that doctors and medical students often went directly to the delivery suite after performing autopsies. He suspected presence of “cadaverous particles” on the hands despite handwashing with soap and water. Semmelweis recommended for students’ and doctors’ that hands should be scrubbed in a chlorinated lime solution before every patient contact and particularly after leaving the autopsy room. As a result of his efforts the mortality rate dramatically declined to 3% in this clinic [1].
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