WHO (World Health Organisation) has declared the 5th of May an international hand-

hygiene day, highlighting the importance of hand hygiene. WHO recommends using hand alcohol for hand sanitizing routine in most clinical situations when hands are not visibly soiled. WHO, 2009, Hand Hygiene, Why, How, Who?

Effective hand hygiene is the most important action to reduce the risk of spreading bacteria and infections in all segments where people are in direct contact with each other, especially in segments where you're working with:

  • instruments
  • food
  • disches
  • kitchen tools
  • toilets
  • keys


It is considered that:

  • 1 in 10 do not wash their hands but shakes hands with everybody.
  • Less than 50% wash their hands when they should.
  • Only 30% do it correctly when they wash their hands.


Public School survey:

  • Up to 26% fewer sick days as a result of improved hand hygiene. Fredensborg, Inge Nandrup-Bus, Hygiene Nurse



Poor hand hygiene is therefore the single most prominent cause of cross infection, the transfer of bacteria from one person to another.

  • 8-10% of patients get a hospital-associated infection in Denmark.
  • Hospitalisation periods are extended by an average of 11 days due to these infections.
  • The estimated additional cost for the society amounts to approximately 2 billion. DKK
  • 600-700 million DKK extra expenditure for the Capital Region of Copenhagen.

Fagligt Forum, 11 maj 2012, Region Hovedstaden