Hand hygiene

Hope that this doesn't sound trivial, as so many people are writing about coughs, sprays, gels and so on. My big worry, when out and about, are door handles and taps in public loos. All started 5 years ago when visiting my wife in hospital. I noticed that a lot of people didn't use the gel by ward doors, and that there were others who left the loo without washing their hands. My way of dealing with the problem was, still is, to use knuckles not fingertips for 'push' doors and to use my little finger for standard handles. Just read through the above and it sounds daft! I'll post it anyway..... If you happen to see an old greybeard using the above methods on doors it may just be me! ( Oh, knuckles work on taps too.)

21 Replies

Not trivial at all, when I was last in hospital I was worried about the door handles too in the toilets. My remedy was to use a paper towel to press down on the handle before putting the paper in the bin. I know it may seem a bit over the top to some , but I will try anything to avoid infections as my immune system is compromised.

Thanks for the post, I will try the knuckle trick on the taps....

Thanks knitter. Having washed my hands I don't like to touch the taps again. The 'knuckle trick' works for me! Re doors... I find that on a visit to clinics or my GP there are usually a few 'push' doors to go through, so knuckles to the fore. Anything to cut down on risk of bugs.

This may sound weird, but sometimes I pull my sleeves down, then open doors. This way I avoid using my bare hands.( of course, now I have the germs on my sleeves, but I don't put those in my mouth). LOL

Hi Barbara. Doesn't sound weird to me. Note to self.... When going out always wear long sleeves!

I pull my sleeves down as well...and I carry a little bottle of hand gel to use when shopping for instance...trolley handles are germy!

You really gotta be vigilant. Those buggers are really nasty, and can be lethal.


know wat u mean,have u thought about cash dispensar too, iv not had a cold for 2 yrs ,sat I had a visit from my daughter and granddaughter ,who was full of a cold she works at a tots nursery ,she got it off the kids,despite everything iv ow got it,iv been coughing all day long,but I'm downing echinacea and whisky in my offee hoping I can knock it on the head,these oct bugs r a swine to get rid of

it does not sound daft....i also avoid touching handles whenever i can and your right...i spent a week in hospital and only once did someone use the gel on the ward its shocking

Ther are so many items we touch that are a bug magnet,my daughter sanitizes her keyboard at work,every day

i will actually tell them to use it, that is what it is there for both mine and their safety. so a quick reminder and they use it at least coming to my room.

yes i will if and when i go back in but its amazing how these doctors and nurses dont wash their hands then blame the cleaners who dont have a clue how to clean !!!!

Do you know that copper and it's alloys, brass, etc, have "Antimicrobial " properties ? Some places are replacing door handles made of these metals.

Thanks all for your comments. Quite a few ways of inadvertently picking up an infection. I will definitely be buying some hand gel/spray. Nasal spray sounds like a good idea too. Antimicrobial handles... that is very interesting. I vaguely remember talk, a few years back, of a similar thing with paint. Not sure if anything came of it.

You are so right, I'm just the same. Have you thought about using a wet wipe to open doors and turning taps. After leaving the toilet you can drop it into the nearest bin.

Me too! I also carry my own hand gel!

Since my husband was very will about five years ago I realised how important hand hygiene was. He got a cold that turned into a chest infection and he ended up hospitalised. I started to realise how many people don't wash their hands and don't use the anti bac gel etc. I introduced hand gel at work outside the loos and in the canteen and in reception. I put a big notice up that everyone who made tea had to use the gel and the colds stopped spreading round the office! Then my eldest daughter pointed out how many people don't wash their hands in public loos - so like you I don't touch door knobs any more nor hand rails nor taps!!!! OH and I insist on having the anti bac hand gel in my bag and make us all use it when we have met someone and especially if my husband has had to shake hands! I assumed everyone washed their hands but they dont!!!! SO if you see a lunatic woman trying to open doors with the sleeves of her coat pulled over her hand or stopping her family in the middle of the shops to use the gel - it is definitely me!! Take good care, TAD xx

There is nothing trivial about your post Clock! Carry a tiny bottle that you can refill at home, and use it when you are concerned. I cannot just use knuckles as I am forever fiddling about with my oxygen tubes, and my knuckles are near my nose and mouth. I wrote my original post 'Wash your hands' as we are coming up to 'flu' season. You are NOT daft!


Not trivial or daft Clock, essential for us as you can see by the number of replies.

I use any bit of me which is away from my hands - shoulders, elbows, wrists, feet, bum, and tissues, sleeves etc.

People often stare though, guess they imagine OCD, and it often feels like that to me too, except i know for us its totally rational.

Prevention better than cure so get at it with the gel, First Defence, whatever - I sometimes wonder if I'm a bit paranoid about surface contact but the little bugs thrive on them! I have done all of the above sleeve, wipes etc. - and no, I don't think it's even mildly eccentric, people just don't clean up often enough.

Excellent replies folks, and some great advice... my thanks to you all. When I was visiting my wife, who was very ill, I didn't feel able to say anything to others who were entering the ward without using the gel. Best I could do was give them a "Paddington Bear Hard Stare" as I very pointedly gelled and wrung my hands, in the hopes that they would take notice. On my most recent stay in hospital I was wheelchaired out of the ward for a stairs test. I was pleased that the Occ. Therapist did her hands, and got me to do mine. Cheers now, Bernie.

Oh - I sooooooo agree with you!!!! :)

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