Controlling Disinfectant Use in Hospitals May Help Reduce Hospital Acquired Infections (HAIs)

Every healthcare facility faces unique challenges related to infectious disease control and maintaining the safety of patients and staff. Hospitals and clinics often use a wide range of conventional disinfectants (mainly liquid) to reduce the spread of pathogens.

By KARTHIK KUMAR

A recent study published in Nature Microbiology shows that there might be a positive correlation between increased use of certain disinfectants and infection rates due to increased bacterial resistance to the disinfectants. One of the bacteria studied was Staphylococcus epidermidis, commonly found on the skin of healthy people, but can cause “serious blood infections in patients in intensive care units (ICUs)¹”.

Peer-reviewed literature supports the fact that there are multiple deficiencies with using conventional disinfectants for infection control that can impact optimal disinfection of commonly used medical devices, few include:

  • Lack of training for disassembly and cleaning of complex equipment, complex geometry, shape, hidden surfaces (operator inconsistency)
  • Insufficient contact time when using surface disinfectants
  • Premature evaporation (i.e. alcohol wipes)
  • Lack of penetration of disinfectant
  • Toxic residues and toxic emissions breathing hazards
  • Additional waste generation
  • Increased spread of germs from wiping & smudging
  • Preparation and cleanup time

Automated disinfection technologies might be the answer for enhanced and more consistent disinfection and reducing the amount of liquid disinfectants used in clinical settings. Manual disinfection of medical devices has been shown to lead to an increased risk of operator error if protocols are not followed correctly, with poor protocol compliance leading to an increased risk of germ transmission. Automating the disinfection process provides repeatability and consistent disinfectant application while eliminating chances of human error and minimizing the chances of bacteria gaining drug resistance.

Designed for items that are difficult to reprocess effectively with manual or traditional disinfection techniques, GloTran™ can get the job done quickly and safely with the push of a button. Utilizing cold plasma, GloTran™, destroys microbes and disinfects hard-to-reach surfaces. It provides consistent, uniform disinfection of non-critical medical devices, heat-sensitive items, certain electronics, and many more commonly used clinical items.

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References

1. Roxana Zamudio, Marco R. Oggioni, Ian M. Gould & Karolin Hijazi. Time for Biocide Stewardship? Nature Microbiology. 2019. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41564-019-0360-6

2. Karolin Hijazi. World Economic Forum. Hospital disinfectants should be regulated like antibiotics new study suggests. March 2019. https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2019/03/hospital-disinfectants-should-be-regulated-like-antibiotics-new-study-suggests/

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