Category Archives: Ultraviolet light to fight bacteria

Antibacterial Wipes Are Just Spreading Germs

Cardiff University in Wales did a study that showed hospitals that routinely use antibacterial wipes to disinfect are actually spreading germs instead of killing them. The research targeted three types of wipes and their effects on killing MRSA. All three of which were found to transfer high amounts of bacteria to a high amount of other surfaces. Once a staff member wipes one surface, they typically use that same wipe to wipe down other items as well. First the handrail, then the table, then who knows what else. The wipes were picking up the bacteria but they weren’t killing the bacteria, therefore essentially transferring the bacteria to its next point of contact. Disinfecting wipes aren’t only used in hospitals but also in schools, gyms, stores and in most homes, amplifying this already serious issue. nm_wipe2_080603_mv

We can’t reasonably expect a staff member to use and discard of one wipe for every small surface they clean. So what is a hospital to do?

Many facilities are adopting the use of Antimicrobial Copper  to address this problem.  The EPA registered material is effective against major super bugs like E.coli, MRSA, Staph, VRE and many more. Virtually any surface can be transformed to copper and kill greater than 99.9% of bacteria within two hours.  Antimicrobial Copper can be a tremendous addition to any infection control program saving hospitals both time and money.

Another option to combat the spread of infection is the UV Flash, 60 Second Infection Prevention Station which uses ultraviolet germicidal light to kill over 300 different germs. The station is often placed in waiting rooms, nurses stations, ICUs and other medical environments to disinfect a multitude of germ ridden objects like stethoscopes, blood pressure cuffs, and cell phones.

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How to Deal With Pathogenic Microorganisms on Stethoscopes?

“Stethoscopes can take part in the transmission of health care-associated infections. We cultured 112 stethoscopes by direct imprint on blood agar to estimate the prevalence of potentially pathogenic microorganisms. Forty-eight (47%) produced 50 potentially pathogenic microorganisms; from these, 43 (86%) were Staphylococcus aureus, of which 18 (42%) were methicillin-resistant S. aureus. We concluded that stethoscopes should be considered as potential fomites and must be disinfected routinely before and after each patient contact.”

The above quote was taken from a study published in the American Journal of Infection Control on October 31, 2013, reminding us of all of the ways germs can be transmitted within the hospital. Just like a physician’s neck tie, lab coat, and blood pressure cuff, we know there are many common items in healthcare facilities that are capable of easily transmitting harmful bacteria. Instead of trying to wipe each item down with a disinfectant cloth, we have a better recommendation. By placing your stethoscope, blood pressure cuff, cell phone, keys, thermometer, pens, etc., into this mobile uv light station for 60 seconds, you can protect yourself and those around you from over 300 dangerous germs. UV Flash disinfecting system has shown a 100% kill rate on C. difficile, staphylococcus aureus, and acinetobacter baumanni in just 60 seconds.

This simple and effective disinfection solution saves healthcare workers from dealing with messy chemicals or spending too much time on disinfection. Just place the items inside, shut the door, and press start. The UV Flash is recommended for waiting rooms, clinics, lobbies, medical offices, nursing stations, ICU’s and more. See the proof.

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Filed under Healthcare Acquired Infections, Ultraviolet light to fight bacteria, Uncategorized

5 Ways To Save Time In Sterile Processing

fridays
One of the complaints we hear most often from Central Sterile Processing Departments is that there are too many instruments to clean and not enough time. Surgeries are delayed, instruments pass through unclean and SPD workers get frustrated. Too much responsibility falls on this department to have them feeling this way. This is what it looks like when technicians don’t have proper time and tools to properly clean each instrument.

Dirty Surgical Tools

Interior Lumen AFTER Sterilization

1.) Flush and Brush Station

The daVinci instruments used in robotic surgeries do phenomenal things but they also create a lot of hassle for technicians. Instruments get lost, they are hard to clean and difficult to keep altogether. This station from Midbrook Medical sits in the base of the sink and helps technicians keep track of what has been scrubbed already and prevents instruments from contaminating each other. Read More flush and brush 1

2.) Recipe Baskets

These recipe baskets were designed to help central sterile processing techinican’s ability to efficiently follow the Instructions for Use to reprocess full recipe sets of da Vinci Robotic Surgery. Instruments can be transferred from the Flush and Brush Station to the recipe baskets for the Midbrook Ultrasonic Bath. Like the Flush and Brush Station, the baskets are designed to keep surgical sets together during reprocessing allowing CSPD Technicians to reprocess recipe sets for each surgical procedure in a more efficient manner.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA3.) The Tempest Surgical Instrument Washer

One of the reasons the Tempest is on the list is because of its automation. With the push of a button the lid comes down and runs a programmable cycle to bring repeatable results.  This instrument washer uses a combination of high-powered, tested, and proven washing actions: ultrasonics, enzymatic soaks, agitation, exterior and interior sprays, and air injection bubble cavitation stream. The instruments are cleaned effectively far surpassing AAMI standards. Just think of what you could accomplish in SPD during this automated 30 minute cleaning cycle.tempestbanner400x289

4,) The UV Flash

Sometimes accidents happen, even in hospitals. What happens when instruments get dropped? Well the good news is that problem can be solved. In 60 seconds. The UV Flash uses UVC light to disinfect objects. All bacteria on the surface of an object will be eliminated by using this station.

UVFlash

5.) Less Repeat (O.K. I know this isnt a product but it’s true!)

Since you’re using the Tempest surgical instrument washer, instruments are being cleaned more effectivly. Since more clean instruments are making their way into the hands of surgeons, less unclean instruments are making the trip back to sterile processing. Sometimes instruments come out of SPD with bio-burden on them so visable that surgeons send them back before even using them. This creates more work for technicians that is really unnecessary. If you do things right the first time, you won’t have to do it again. At least until after the surgery….

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Filed under Gimme Five Friday, Surgical Instrument Cleaning, Ultraviolet light to fight bacteria, Uncategorized

September 12, 2013

Hey NFL Physicians Society, WAKE UP!

MRSA Infections in the NFL

MRSA Infections in the NFL

Ok, maybe that’s too harsh of a title to use, but read the rest of the article and then let’s decide. I recently read an article talking about the serious issue affecting the NFL. The article talks about how the NFL Physicians Society has sent several newsletters and memos to the league, reminding them to “remain vigilant” about trying to prevent MRSA infections. Players like The Tampa Bay Buccaneer guard, Carl Nicks and place kicker Lawrence Tynes are fighting MRSA, a potentially life threatening staph infection resistant to most antibiotics.

One of the reasons this has become a problem seemingly more prevalent in the sports world,  is because these athletes are extremely sweaty. They are in close contact with each other on the field and in the locker room, sweating on the turf, equipment, towels and a ball that they pass from one person to the next.  Then there are the mouth guards. Continuously taken in and out of their mouth with their hands or dropped on the ground. Yuck!

So what does the NFL Physicians Society suggest these athletes do to prevent this increased risk of infection?  “Hand washing and good hygiene.” That’s the best advice they offer. And while suggesting hand washing and good hygiene is better than nothing at all, I think there has to be more that can be done.

It’s the year 2013, we know more about the spread of infection than say, 50 years ago. What kind of technology or science can we utilize to help these sweaty athletes stay healthy? One example I can think of is to utilize UVC light that we know is proven to kill germs. Have the players place those mouth guards and towels, etc. into a UV Flash that can disinfect in 60 seconds.

I’m sure a lot of you reading this also know a thing or two about infection prevention practices and have a few ideas yourself. The issue of infection not only lies in the NFL player’s locker room. We have to remember it’s rampant in the real world too and that’s an even bigger problem. Maybe the NFL needs to become a role model for hospitals and medical facilities!

I’m not saying hand washing doesn’t help limit the transfer of bacteria but if it was working so well, we wouldn’t be having such an epidemic. Other than hand washing, what would you suggest the NFL do to prevent the spread of infection? Who knows, maybe next year’s NFL Health and Safety Report will feature your idea as a new standard practice.

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September 4, 2013

Wednesday

Take a look at the UV Flash Disinfectant Station, killing 99.9% of germs on hard-to-clean objects in only 60 seconds

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Filed under Daily Blog Posts, Ultraviolet light to fight bacteria, Watch it on Wednesday

August 29, 2013

Thursday

Infection Prevention- “And” is Better

Have you seen the new Ford commercials?

It’s a pretty ridiculous ad, but do you see their point? Why would we choose between two options when having both is better? In the case of Ford, a foot activated lift gate AND great gas mileage is better than one or the other. And what about these other duos?

Macaroni AND cheese, Bert AND Ernie, Twist AND Shout…

Better together, right?

It reminds me of the sentiment that I’ve seen reiterated over and over in LinkedIn discussions, news articles, and success stories: infection prevention needs an all-hands-on-deck and it doesn’t have just one solution. When it comes to infection prevention, “and” is better.

In a patient’s room:

  • Hand hygiene: cuts down on the spread of germs and bacteria, but it’s impossible to ensure 100% compliance
  • Antimicrobial copper: kills 99.9% of surface bacteria within 2 hours, but it’s not financially possible for most hospitals to copperize every single surface in a hospital
  • Hand hygiene AND Antimicrobial copper: eliminating more germs and bacteria through hand hygiene and copper high touch surfaces

In an instrument washer:

  • Ultrasonic bath: breaks up bioburden on instrument surface
  • Ozonated water: world’s most effective bacteria-killer
  • Ultrasonic bath AND Ozonated water: elimination of bioburden and bacteria leading to instruments that consistently pass AAMI standards

In disinfection:

  • UVC full room disinfection machine: disinfects rooms, but only the surfaces facing the machine
  • UV Flash: 360° disinfection of hard to clean objects at a high risk for cross-contamination such as stethoscopes, laptops, and more
  • UVC full room disinfection machine AND UV Flash: ability to disinfect rooms as well as the entire surface area of commonly used objects; both of which cuts down on cross-contamination

Creating standards:

  • Standardized processes: ensures everyone is following the best proven procedures while cleaning instruments in sterile processing departments, preparing a room for a new patients, etc.
  • Standardized results: ensures that each healthcare facility is aiming for an objective and measurable level of clean
  • Standardized processes AND results: no more articles with tips on which hospitals to choose and which to avoid because everyone is following the same procedures and achieving the same high level of clean

Yup, “and” is definitely better.

What are some other infection prevention combinations you can think of?

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Filed under Anti microbial copper alloys, Daily Blog Posts, Thursday Thought of the Day, Ultraviolet light to fight bacteria

August 16, 2013

fridays

5 Places (besides hospitals) that Need Better Infection Prevention

At Midbrook Medical, we are all about infection prevention. And as you can probably guess from our name, we usually focus our prevention efforts in the healthcare world. Eliminating the international epidemic that is Healthcare-Acquired Infections is something we believe should be on the top of everyone’s To Do List. But infection outbreaks and superbugs aren’t limited to healthcare facilities. There’s no security guard stopping MRSA at the exit door of a hospital saying, “Um sorry you can’t leave, you’re an HAI.”

A Healthcare-Acquired Infection outside of a healthcare facility is simply an infection. And these infections are equally as dangerous no matter where you contract them.

That’s why we can’t limit our infection prevention efforts to healthcare facilities only. Many of the advances and technologies we discuss everyday on our blog need to be implemented anywhere where there is a risk of contracting infection.

And, really, anywhere there are human beings, there is a risk.

But some places are more prone to outbreaks than others. Take a look at these 5 places that desperately need proper infection prevention:

1. Retirement Homes and Assisted Living Communities

On a superbug or infection FAQ sheet, there are always risk factors listed, things that increase the chance of contraction. One of the recurring risk factors is age. The elderly tend to have a weaker immune system, making them more prone to infections. Think about how it takes your grandma twice as long as you to get over a cold. And that’s just a cold. Getting over something like C. diff. would be another story altogether. Another group with a higher infection risk is those already on antibiotics. Maybe it’s just the elderly in my life, but I swear they take about half the drugstore every morning with breakfast. If you combine these risk factors with the fact that these communities have a lot of people living in close quarters, then you understand why they really need to be careful about preventing the spread of infections.

2. Dentist Offices

We talk all the time about cleaning the surgical instruments used in the operating rooms at hospitals, but what about those surgical tools used to pull out your wisdom teeth or fill a cavity? Those are some intricate tools that, if not cleaned and sterilized properly, could pass on infections just as easily as those in a hospital. And think about the number of patients that go in and out of a dentist’s office every single day. They’re sitting in the same waiting room chairs, they’re using the same doorknobs, and they could easily be passing on or receiving infections.

3.  Apartment Buildings and Dorms

My freshman year in college I think I vacuumed my dorm room two times at the most. In the dining hall, I ate too many cookies and not enough infection-fighting spinach. I didn’t get enough sleep. My throat hurt one time for about 2 weeks before I even thought about seeing a doctor. And I shared a community bathroom with all 30 girls in my hall. College dorms and apartments with young tenants are great for creating memories with your friends but a nightmare for infection prevention.

4. Athletic Facilities

Before I began working at Midbrook and doing any research on infections, I actually thought MRSA was something only athletes ever got. I had read so many articles on high school football players contracting it from unclean locker rooms or someone with MRSA going to their gym with an open wound and causing an outbreak. Athletic facilities, with their poorly cleaned machines and crowded, damp locker rooms, are breeding grounds for all sorts of infections.

5. Schools

Let’s talk about your average high schooler. She’s moving to a different classroom every hour, using the rusty old drinking fountain in the hall, taking the beat-up hall pass with her to the bathroom, sharing her dessert with her friends at lunch, and chewing on her pen. Honestly I could go on and on about the ways students are exposed to infections in a single classroom, let alone an entire building.

Each of these places poses a risk for infection in its own way. There isn’t one solution we can use to combat them all, just like there isn’t one solution that can eliminate HAIs. But there are technologies and methods already in existence that can be used to really make a dent in these infection rates. Ideas such as antimicrobial copper or UV light are already making waves in the healthcare world but can be just as effective in other settings as well. As long as we don’t get tunnel-vision, we can continue to combat infections, no matter where they appear.

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Filed under Anti microbial copper alloys, Daily Blog Posts, Gimme Five Friday, Ultraviolet light to fight bacteria