Infection control precautions, including regular cleaning and decontamination, are vital to help reduce the burden of healthcare-associated infections. However, traditional disinfectants only offer limited residual activity.
Incorporating antimicrobial additives into different materials found in patient areas could offer continuous prevention of microbial growth and complement cleaning and disinfection strategies. Jonathan Clapp reports.
Healthcare-associated infections (HCAIs) pose a great threat to healthcare institutions across Europe, prolonging hospital stays, requiring further therapeutic interventions and, in worst case scenarios, increasing the incidence of death. The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) reported that the six most common types of HCAIs – including urinary tract infections and pneumonia – result in 90,000 patient deaths every year in the EU, which is more than any single infectious disease under its surveillance, including HIV/ AIDS.1 The biggest concern is that more than half of these incidences are thought to be entirely avoidable with active prevention and control programmes, such as cleaning and aseptic practices.2 Routine infection control protocols and best practices are encouraged at all times to protect both staff and patients from the microorganisms that cause infection. But the COVID-19 pandemic gave every healthcare setting the impetus to re-evaluate its standard infection control precautions, with more onus placed on using the correct personal protective equipment (PPE), thorough handwashing and regular cleaning of surfaces; all with the aim of reducing infection transmission.
Is cleaning enough?
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