FAQ's - 5 Moments

Q: Why do the 5 Moments not include hand hygiene before touching furniture in the patient’s immediate vicinity?
A: The 5 Moments has been developed around the basis of pathogen transmission.  There is not an indication to perform hand hygiene before touching the patients surroundings.

Q: Do you have to clean your hands after touching every patient drainage device?
A:  Hands should be decontaminated between all drains that start from different body/wound sites (moment 3). This is to protect the healthcare worker and reduce the risk of colonisation or infection and second it reduces the risk of cross-transmission of micro-organisms from a 'colonised' to a 'clean' body site. If there are multiple drains from the same body/wound site then hand hygiene may not necessarily be required between contact with each of these drains. This is based on expert opinion that drains from the same body/wound site are liable to be colonised with the same micro-organisms and therefore cross-transmission is unlikely to occur as these surfaces are more than likely already have same micro-organisms colonising them. Following contact with the last of these drains hand hygiene should be performed (moment 3). If the patients surroundings are touched in between contact with these multiple drains then hand hygiene should be performed (moment 3) based on the requirement to reduce colonisation of micro-organisms to the patients’ surroundings.

Q: Do food services staff have to clean their hands after delivering each patients' meal?
If in the process of delivering a patients’ meal the food services staff comes into contact with the patients’ surroundings then this would be moment 5 and hand hygiene would be required. If the food services staff simply lays a tray of food on to a patients’ table then no patients’ surroundings has come into contact and hand hygiene would not be necessary. This would also apply when meal trays are being collected.
Q: Do I need to complete all 5 Moments everytime I am in a clinical setting?
No. The 5 Moments for Hand Hygiene are guidelines for when you need to perform hand hygiene in the healthcare setting. You only complete hand hygiene for the activities that you do. i.e. if you walk in and touch a patient then walk out; you need to complete hand hygiene before touching the patient (Moment 1), then after touching a patient (Moment 4).