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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 120-124

Impact of COVID-19 pandemic on individual hand hygiene infection control practices among healthcare workers: A questionnaire-based survey

1 Department of Pulmonary Medicine, AIIMS, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand, India
2 Department of Community Medicine, AIIMS, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand, India
3 Department of Microbiology, AIIMS, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand, India
4 Department of Internal Medicine, AIIMS, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand, India
5 Department of Pathology, AIIMS, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Mihir Raman Gangakhedkar
Flat 306, Swastik Apartment, Barrage Colony, Near Hotel Heritage, Off Virbhadra Road, Rishikesh - 249 203, Uttarakhand
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/JME.JME_194_20

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Background: COVID-19 is primarily transmitted by droplets, aerosols and fomites. While adequate hand hygiene (HH) practice has already been proven to reduce transmission of pathogens and prevent infection, its role in checking cross-contamination with SARS-CoV-2 appears paramount. Aim: To assess the impact COVID 19 has had on individual HH practices among health care workers (HCW) at a tertiary health care center. Patients and Methods: A cross-sectional survey was conducted among HCWs for a period of 15 days from May to June 2020. The survey was distributed online via Google Forms after acquiring permission from Institutional Ethics Committee. Results: Two hundred and three completed survey questionnaires were received, primarily from nursing officers (42.4%) and residents (38.9%). Comparison of pre- and post-COVID-19 habits revealed a significant change in awareness regarding hand washing steps (87%–100%), practicing all steps of hand washing (66%–99%), washing hand before and after touching patient (55%–92% and 77%–100%, respectively), washing hands before going home (30%–91%), washing hands despite wearing gloves (21%–80%) and after touching patient's surroundings (46%–92%). Another significant finding observed was that almost 72% of the respondents took time to educate someone close by in HH and washing steps. Conclusion: The pandemic has seen an improvement in practices of HH. This change will not only impact the transmission of SARS-CoV-2, but every infectious disease spread similarly. Moreover, educating the general public would help in curbing the spread of COVID-19.

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