Videos in Clinical Medicine

Hand Hygiene

List of authors.
  • Yves Longtin, M.D.,
  • Hugo Sax, M.D.,
  • Benedetta Allegranzi, M.D.,
  • Franck Schneider,
  • and Didier Pittet, M.D.

Editor’s Note: The narration and closed captions in this video are in English. For subtitles in 13 other languages, see this video on the website of the World Health Organization.

About the Procedure

Health-care associated infections are a threat to patient safety and the most common adverse events resulting from a stay in the hospital.1 Approximately 5 to 10% of hospitalized patients in the developed world acquire such infections, and the burden of disease is even higher in developing countries. Proper use of hand hygiene is a critical to the prevention of these infections, but compliance among health care workers is most often below 40%. . . . .

Funding and Disclosures

The WHO takes no responsibility for the information provided or the views expressed in this article.

Supported in part by a grant from the Swiss National Research Fund (FN 3200B0-122324) and by the University of Geneva Hospitals.

Drs. Longtin and Sax contributed equally to this article.

Disclosure forms provided by the authors are available with the full text of this article at

We thank all members of the Infection Control Program, University of Geneva Hospitals and Faculty of Medicine, for their dedication to improving patient safety, Rosemary Sudan for editorial assistance, Otto Zingg for his technical assistance with the video, and Christa Prins for the photographs in this article.

Supplementary Material

References (6)

  1. 1. WHO guidelines on hand hygiene in health care. Geneva: World Health Organization, 2009. (

  2. 2. Pittet D, Hugonnet S, Harbarth S, et al. Effectiveness of a hospital-wide programme to improve compliance with hand hygiene. Lancet 2000;356:1307-1312[Erratum, Lancet 2000;356:2196.]

  3. 3. Boyce JM, Pittet D. Guideline for hand hygiene in health-care settings. recommendations of the Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee and the HICPAC/SHEA/APIC/IDSA Hand Hygiene Task Force. MMWR Recomm Rep 2002;51:1-45, CE1

  4. 4. Pittet D, Allegranzi B, Sax H, et al. Evidence-based model for hand transmission during patient care and the role of improved practices. Lancet Infect Dis 2006;6:641-652

  5. 5. Sax H, Allegranzi B, Uckay I, Larson E, Boyce J, Pittet D. `My five moments for hand hygiene': a user-centered design approach to understand, train, monitor and report hand hygiene. J Hosp Infect 2007;67:9-21

  6. 6. Allegranzi B, Memish ZA, Donaldson L, Pittet D. Religion and culture: potential undercurrents influencing hand hygiene promotion in health care. Am J Infect Control 2009;37:28-34

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