Sickness on the up

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The Trust’s sickness figures rose considerably in the last week of June, with 70% of staff who were on sick leave suffering with cold and flu symptoms or diarrhoea and vomiting. This trend differs from local and national rates for both influenza illnesses and Norovirus, which are both below the seasonal average and on the decrease.

The most effective way to protect yourself from these types of infection is with the correct use of personal protective equipment (PPE), and good quality hand hygiene. All staff should follow standard precautions for all patients they attend to and adopt the appropriate additional precautions where required.

As a guide, you should presume that all body substances (blood, excreta, secretions etc.) contain infective microorganisms. Reduce the risk of infection by wearing disposable gloves and an apron when in contact with blood and body fluids and when touching mucous membranes or non-intact skin.

The skin is a protective barrier and the number of micro-organisms can be reduced or removed by undertaking adequate hand hygiene. Breaks in the skin, cuts and abrasions can provide an entry point to infective micro-organisms and should be covered with waterproof dressings. For more details about standard and additional projects please see the Trust’s safe practice guidelines.

The principles of these standard precautions can be utilised at home or in the office too!

Published 18th July 2014 

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