Med One Blog

Your Hands Are Gross!

Bacteria Cells

By Ibby Smith Stofer

As I continue to research the serious issue of hospital acquired infections I came across some very interesting facts. Whether you work in a hospital, visit one, go to the store, go to school, a restaurant, or even just open a door, you may find both interesting and scary. A company that offers touchless entry systems wrote the article. You can read more at

They have identified one key to help the hospitals reduce the germs associated with things like door handles, faucets and toilets. Many studies have shown that the simple act of hand washing can have a dramatic effect.

This is not intended as an advertisement for the company, rather an eye opening report of some serious data that each of us need to know.

Your hands are gross is the title and some of the facts are as follows:

  • Germs can survive on hands for up to three hours
  • A sneeze propels up to 100,000 bacteria into the air at 100mph
  • Damp hands spread 1,000 times more germs than dry hands
  • There are between 2 and 10 million bacteria between fingertips and elbows
  • Nearly 80% of sickness causing germs spread via hands
  • More germs exist on a phone or keyboard than on a toilet seat
  • Flu germs can spread an entire day before symptoms begin
  • A single germ can multiply to more than eight million germs in one day
  • The number of germs on fingertips doubles after using the toilet

Washing hands with soap

Wow! We definitely know why we were constantly reminded to wash our hands! But just like in studies on hand hygiene at hospitals across the country, when we are busy or distracted, the simple act of hand washing diminishes greatly (according to some studies as much as a 50% reduction).

So now that we know the facts, this reminder will hopefully help each of us in our daily lives to remember that not only do we want to remain healthy and avoid colds, flu and other illnesses, we can help others to do the same. It goes with out saying that these viruses can have significant negative impact on those who are older and at-risk with existing conditions. Luckily for those who get sick and need ventilatory support, hospitals have the best equipment available such as the trilogy ventilator.

So share this with your family, friends and associates and above all, make washing hands a habit. Don't become a germaphobe, but rather protect yourself by the simple act of remembering to wash those dirty hands often!