Hygiene in the NICU & SCN

NURTURE INFORMATION HUB

Hand Hygiene

Evidence:

Factors associated with Hand Hygiene practices in two Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICUs)
CLICK HERE. 
BEVIN COHENLISA SAIMAN, MD, MPH, JEANNIE CIMIOTTI, RN, MSN, and ELAINE LARSON, RN, PHD

Hand hygiene was suboptimal in this high risk setting; administrative action and improved products may be needed to assure acceptable practice. In this study use of an alcohol-based product was associated with significantly improved hand hygiene and should be encouraged.

Education:

Following hand hygiene protocols in hospitals, particularly in the NICU and SCN, is recognized as one of the most important means to prevent and control the spread of health care-associated infections. Babies born premature or sick cared for in the NICU or SCN are at especially high risk of health
care-associated infections because of a combination of innate characteristics including their fragile integumentary and underdeveloped immune systems as well as the frequent need for breathing and feeding equipment, invasive procedures and 24 hour care by numerous staff members. Current best practices for hand hygiene for such high risk patients include the cleaning or degerming of hands before and after patient contact, after touching patient equipment or environmental surfaces, before performing invasive procedures and after removing gloves.  Hand gel sanitiser is also widely used in the NICU and SCN setting.

Empowerment:

As parents of premature and sick babies, we can all play our part in making sure ourselves and any visitors with us to the NICU and SCN follow hand hygiene protocols, helping to lower risks for all the babies in the Unit.  We can be our babies best advocates by making sure our family and friends follow these rules and understand the risk and importance of protecting our babies. 

Hand gel sanitiser is common and easily accessible in the Units and can be purchased for your personal use in your bag, car and home. Making hand sanitising part of your normal routine when caring for your baby can start straight away once your baby is born.

Mobile Phone Hygiene

Evidence:

Cell Phones in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit: How to Eliminate Unwanted Germs
CLICK HERE. 
Sharon Kirkby 1Christine Biggs

“Microbial surface contamination was evident on every phone tested before disinfecting. All phones were substantially less contaminated after disinfection.”

Education:

Babies born premature or sick cared for in a NICU or SCN are more susceptible to infections due to immature immune systems or invasive procedures that compromise protection from bacteria. These infants may stay in the NICU for extended periods of time, are exposed to many caregivers, and may be exposed to other infections.  Mobile phone use by both family and staff introduce unwanted bacteria into the NICU environment, thereby becoming a threat to this high-risk population.

Empowerment:

As parents of premature and sick babies, we can all play our part in making sure ourselves and any visitors with us to the NICU and SCN follow mobile phone hygiene protocols, helping to lower risks for all the babies in the Unit.  We can be our babies best advocates by making sure our family and friends follow these rules and understand the risk and importance of protecting our babies. 

Mobile phone sanitising wipes are commonly available in the Units and can be purchased for your personal use in your bag, car and home. Making mobile phone sanitising part of your normal routine when caring for your baby can start straight away once your baby is born.

Confirmation Content

 

   

Disclaimer: This publication by Miracle Babies Foundation is intended solely for general education and assistance and it is it is not medical advice or a healthcare recommendation. It should not be used for the purpose of medical diagnosis or treatment for any individual condition. This publication has been developed by our Parent Advisory Team (all who are parents of premature and sick babies) and has been reviewed and approved by a Clinical Advisory Team. This publication is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Miracle Babies Foundation recommends that professional medical advice and services be sought out from a qualified healthcare provider familiar with your personal circumstances.To the extent permitted by law, Miracle Babies Foundation excludes and disclaims any liability of any kind (directly or indirectly arising) to any reader of this publication who acts or does not act in reliance wholly or partly on the content of this general publication. If you would like to provide any feedback on the information please email [email protected].