Carlos Palos and Soraia Bispo Explain at RTP1 Channel the Importance of Hand Washing

Carlos Palos, internist physician and coordinator of Luz Saúde and Hospital Beatriz Ângelo Infection Control Committee, and Ana Soraia Bispo, nurse-responsible in the same committee, were special guests in the health segment of TV show “Agora Nós”, at RTP1 channel, last May 2. Both explained the importance of hand washing as a way to prevent infection and fight sepsis, in the line of this year’s campaign of the World Health Organization (WHO) for the Global Handwashing Day, celebrated on May 5.

According to WHO, every year, 30 million cases of sepsis lead to the death of 6 million people all over the world, reminded Carlos Palos (in the center, in the photo, next to João Ramos, the host from TV show “Diga Doutor”).

“We all have infections, such as amigdalitis and gastroenteritis, that usually do not involve risk of life. When the infection reaches severity and is generalized, we talk about sepsis, where the most serious degree is septic shock (very low blood pressure caused by bacteria or by body response). Theoretically, all infections can lead to sepsis, thence the importance of intervening at the level of prevention”, he explained.

“We live surrounded by bacteria. And, for instance, when we eat without washing our hands, there is a very high probability of ingesting bacteria, that will cause infection. Therefore, social hand washing with soap and water is fundamental”, he stressed.

On the other hand, Ana Soraia Bispo explained how to wash hands and the occasions, when it is indispensable to do that simple act of hygiene: before eating and after going to the toilet. 

For that purpose, “a good neutral soap” is sufficient, as it eliminates 80% of bacteria (antibacterial soaps, that clean 99% of bacteria, “are not recommended, for they eliminate our own bacterial flora that protects us from aggression”). In the streets, and when there is no toilet available, “a sanitizer gel or cleaning wipes are a good option”, she concluded.