“Wearing gloves is an additional weapon in hand hygiene and can actually be a life saver”
I’m often asked what my legacy will be. What do I want to ‘do’, to leave a lasting impression?
If I dropped dead tomorrow, I feel I’ve already done my bit to raise awareness and I hope to give others something to think about. I hope that my sons are proud of me, and will go on to tell stories about my life and how I was brave in the face of adversity. That would be lovely. However, I have this uncontrollable urge to do more. There are times when I’m so busy that I crave some gaps in my diary but when those gaps comes around.
So, when asked what I’d like to do next in my quest for world domination, I wondered how I could potentially shield other parents from the experience I had. I considered what I could do to help reduce the risk of infection in Neonatal Intensive Care Units. NICU’s are already doing a fantastic job at hand hygiene, but could more be done? In most aspects of life, more can always be done. The current guidelines suggest glove use at all times when dealing with premature babies, but its not a hard and fast rule. As a parent, I was not encouraged to wear gloves when interacting with my daughter Ally, I was just told to wash my hands. In a lot of cases, hand washing is good enough, but unbeknown to many people there is a specific way to wash your hands. To keep everyone on an even keel, a physical barrier would be an extra level of protection, as it is visible, unlike handwashing, we would also know if we had prepared ourselves to touch our babies. I liken it to getting in a car and knowing immediately that you feel weird when you haven’t applied your seat belt; we’d noticed our hands weren’t gloved. The concept of ‘gloves for all’ in NICU’s was born, and subsequently ‘Heidi’s Gloves’ became a reality.
Heidi’s Gloves will be provided to Neonatal Intensive Care Units to increase the uptake of glove use and 50% of the profits from my book Heidi’s Lifeline will go towards funding Heidi’s Gloves.