A recent stay in hospital made me really appreciate the wonderful NHS and the tireless work of all the staff there.
It also impressed on me the need for technologies to help support and achieve their objectives for infection prevention, protecting vulnerable patients and fighting against antibiotic resistance.
From my first visit to A&E late at night, getting out of the car and into a standard wheelchair, at the time it didn’t occur to me how many poorly people had sat in the chair before me, with various conditions or injuries.
The doctors and nurses all appeared to be fastidious in their hand hygiene before treating patients – hand washing and wearing disposable gloves.
It was other areas however that made me realise how susceptible we are to the spread of infection through the transmission of bacteria.
The floor in the ward I was on was cleaned once a day.
Following visiting hours when many friends and family members came into to see their loved ones, made me think about tracking in bacteria on the underside of shoes. Hobbling through the ward with a bandage on my foot to get to the toilet, like all of the other patients – some bare foot. I was aware that I could be picking up bacteria from the floor.
I didn't see the bedside cabinet holding my laptop, phone, books, magazines etc. ever cleaned or wiped over at all during my stay.
I found myself noticing the habits and touch points of other patients visitors – moving chairs, passing magazines, using the bed panel to raise and lower the beds.
Going to the toilet and touching the lock and door handle after washing your hands - yes with hand hygiene there shouldn’t be too much bacteria - but could I guarantee that my fellow patients had similar hygiene habits to myself?
No I couldn’t.
I felt there was a massive opportunity to use antimicrobial technology in products, floorings, walls, cabinets, bed rails, bathrooms; wheelchairs, furniture etc – all high traffic areas / high touch points.
It could have such a positive overall impact on reducing bacterial load within a ward environment.
With some resources scarce, this silent technology preventing the spread of bacteria in between cleans is surely a way forward and part of a holistic approach to achieving Infection control targets.
#antibioticguardians #waaw #biomasterprotected