Far West and its Hygiene Habits

Far West
Photo by Sarah Lachise on Unsplash

When you read the title of this article, I imagine you had much the same reaction as I did. You must have thought that hygiene habits in the Wild West must be practically non-existent! Indeed, it is difficult to imagine the hygiene habits in the Wild West when we are currently living with COVID-19.

BRIEF HISTORY AND SETTLEMENT OF THE WILD WEST

The Wild West is the most famous period in the history of the American West. This period began in 1865 after the Civil War (between 1861 and 1865) and ended in 1895. Geographically speaking, the Wild West constitutes the territories located in the west of the Mississippi. Of course, there had been several waves of settlement in the West since the arrival of the first European settlers in America. The California Gold Rush of the 1840s was the first, and the call of Manifest Destiny (the idea that westward expansion was an American right and should be guaranteed) was the second. With the development of railroads in the 1860s and improved technology after the Civil War, the west became more accessible.

THE PRESENCE OF SOAP AND SHAMPOO

According to Frank Clifford, a cowboy and drifter who wrote a memoir about his life in the American Wild West, soap existed. He spoke of “soap-weed,” which Mexican women used to wash their hair. Made from the yucca plant, the soap left hair soft, clean and shiny. Many settlers used soap made from animal fat, although it was known to be harsh and irritate the skin. However, soap was not a priority. Body odor was considered a fact of life and many believed that having pores that were too clean exposed them to germs and disease.

As for shampoo, some people used soap-weed to wash their hair when they were lucky enough to have it. Another method was the use of whiskey, which was also used as a disinfectant. It was mixed with castor oil to wash the hair, which was then rinsed with rainwater or water softened with borax.

THE INEVITABLE DUST

Outside and inside, dust was inevitable in the Wild West. Frequent and devastating, dust storms covered entire towns with thick layers of dirt and grime. Sarah Raymond Herndon, author of American stories who traveled from Missouri to the Montana area in the 1860s, quotes: “Oh, the dust, the dust; it is terrible. I have never seen it half as bad; it seems to be almost knee-deep in places […] When we stopped, the boys’ faces were a sight; they were covered with all the dust that could stick on.” The presence of so much dust, of course, caused severe respiratory illness.

THE USEFULNESS OF THE SCARF

The scarf, one of the iconic aspects of cowboy attire, was an essential and used for a multitude of purposes. It was used to protect the mouth and nose from dust (like a mask), to protect the neck from the sun, the ears from the cold and much more.

COMMON TOWELS IN SALOONS

Saloon

Towels in Wild West bars were used to wipe beer foam from customers’ mouths and beards. These shared towels were accessible to everyone near the bar counters. They were thus carriers of innumerable germs and diseases.

THE OUTHOUSES, A NIGHTMARE

Outhouse

The outhouses experience is, going into a shed built over a hole in the ground. When the hole was full, it was buried. Then, the structure would be moved to another hole. Outhouses attracted all kinds of insects because of the smell. These toilets were an easy way to catch diseases. There was no toilet paper, so people used leaves, corncobs and grass.

NOT BEING ILL WAS A MIRACLE

Wild West Camp

Eventually, due to the unsanitary conditions of the many people living in the Wild West, it was normal for diseases to affect the settlements on the American frontier. Cholera was one of the most important and was devastating to both settlers and Native Americans. Upon arrival at one camp, Sarah Raymond Herndon said, “There is no disease at all in the camp; it is wonderful how well we are doing. I hope it continues that way.”

So, it’s no surprise that the hygiene habits of that era were terrible.
To learn more about the history and other facts of the Wild West, visit the sources below.

Loose translation of What Was Hygiene Like In The Wild West?

Sources :

https://www.bavardist.com/life/habitudes-dhygiene-dans-le-far-west/3/?chrome=1
https://armoireaquestions.com/bibliotheque/article/read/68981-quel-epoque-far-west
https://the-western-shop.com/blogs/blog-du-western/far-west#:~:text=La%20colonisation%20de%20l’Ouest,s’est%20termin%C3%A9e%20en%201895
https://www.ranker.com/list/hygiene-wild-west/melissa-sartore
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nOg00Q08Wek

Wednesday’s tale: Black Death and its Origin

Image by Christian Dorn from Pixabay

This wednesday’s tale, June 29th 2022, is about one of the worst pandemics in history, the Black Death! This pandemic of plague reached Europe in 1346 via the Mediterranean basin through ships carrying goods from the Black Sea. On board these ships, in addition to cargo and passengers, there were little stowaways: flea-infested black rats carrying the bubonic plague. And so, one of the most deadly pathogens was released at the ports of Europe. Rapid and fatal, the consequences were: disease, suffering and death on a cataclysmic scale. Up to 60% of the population of Europe, the Middle East and North Africa was killed in eight years by the Black Death.

IDENTIFICATION OF THE PATHOGEN RESPONSIBLE FOR THE DISEASE

First, in 1894, the pathogen responsible for the disease was discovered by bacteriologists Kitasato Shibasaburo and Alexandre Yersin. At the same time, they discovered the plague bacillus, an elongated “rod-shaped” bacterium. They named it Yersinia pestis, a bacterium carried by fleas proliferating on rats and other small rodents. The bacilli multiply in the flea’s intestine. When the flea bites its host, it regurgitates the bacilli into the host’s body and infects it. And normally, this happens in a closed cycle between fleas and rodents. The bacteria spreads at such a rate that it kills its rodent hosts. This forced the fleas to find new hosts, namely humans. The infection spread easily. Rats were attracted to human activity, especially to food stored in barns, mills and houses.

THE SYMPTOMS

Then, the symptoms of the Black Death. The incubation period was very long, varying between 16-23 days before the first symptoms appeared. Three to five days later, the victim would die. It was too late to understand the cause of death and to be fully aware of the danger.

Nodules in the patients’ lymphatic system were affected, causing swelling in the groin and armpits. These initial symptoms were accompanied by vomiting, headaches and a very high fever that made the patients tremble.

3 FORMS OF THE BLACK DEATH

First, the bubonic plague as the most common form of the Black Death. The lymph gland was inflamed and widely known as a bubo. This gave rise to the term bubonic plague.

Second was septicemic plague, as one of the other variants of the plague. It infected the victim’s blood, causing visibly black spots under the skin. This is probably what gave the Black Death its name.

Third, the pulmonary plague which affected the respiratory system, causing the victim to cough. This facilitated the infection by droplet projection. In the medieval period, septicemic and pneumonic plagues had a 100% mortality rate.

THE EXACT ORIGIN OF THE BLACK DEATH

Finally, the origin of the Black Death pandemic. According to a study putting an end to nearly seven centuries of questioning, it would have emerged in Central Asia in Kyrgyzstan. Researchers were able to trace the source by extracting ancient human DNA from a 14th-century burial site in northern Kyrgyzstan. Of the more than 400 tombstones at this burial site, about 100 dated precisely between 1338-1339. With an epitaph mentioning “death by pestilence”, in ancient Syriac. Phil Slavin, one of the authors of the study and a professor at the University of Stirling, knew of the existence of two medieval burial sites. These burial sites located near the lake of Issyk Kul in Kyrgyzstan had been excavated at the end of the 19th century.

The researchers searched the dental DNA of seven skeletons to find the cause of death. One of the authors of the study, Maria Spyrou from the University of Tübingen in Germany, explains: “The dental pulp is a valuable source, because it is a highly vascularized area that gives a high chance of detecting pathogens in the blood”. The DNA was sequenced and compared to a database containing the genome of thousands of bacteria. The verdict: the bodies were infected by the bacterium Yersinia pestis, the bacillus responsible for the Black Death, transmitted to humans by rodent fleas.

This community had therefore been the victim of the same plague that struck Europe a few years later. Analyses of the Yersinia pestis genome also revealed that it was an ancestral strain of the bacterium. It was the one at the base of the “genetic tree” of the plague. This Christian community, ethnically diverse (Mongols, Uyghurs…) practiced long-distance trade. Phil Slavin argues, “Living in the heart of the Silk Roads, they must have traveled extensively, which played a role in the spread of the epidemic via the Black Sea.”

Can you imagine a pandemic without appropriate hygiene programs/guidelines, vaccines and hand sanitizers or surface disinfectants?

Sources and free translations of:
– https://www.nationalgeographic.fr/sciences/2020/03/pourquoi-les-medecins-de-la-peste-portaient-ils-ces-droles-de-masques
– https://www.nationalgeographic.fr/histoire/2020/04/rapide-et-fatale-comment-la-peste-noire-devaste-leurope-au-14e-siecle
– https://www.rtbf.be/article/histoire-de-la-sante-apres-des-siecles-de-mystere-on-connait-enfin-l-origine-exacte-de-la-peste-noire-11013317
– https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-022-01673-4

Disposable Microfiber, The First Step In The Disinfection Process

Disposable microfiber cloth system

In the past, we have often lauded the advantage of microfiber for cleaning. This is repeated today, but with the use of a disposable microfiber as the first step in the disinfection process. Of course, we are talking about cleaning first, then disinfecting. However, the products highlighted in this article are compatible with common disinfectants. These products are Rubbermaid‘s Hygen single-use microfiber swabs and wipes.

WHAT IS A MICROFIBER AGAIN?

Microfiber is a synthetic textile fiber (polyester, polyamide or a mixture) that is very fine and light with a denomination which is less than one decitex. A microfiber (filament) is characterised by its small diameter, the nature of its fiber and its structure. Therefore, not all microfibers are the same or of the same quality. This revolutionary material has quickly become a must in the hygiene, health and automotive sectors. To know more about it, read this article, Spotlight on microfiber!

THE HYGEN LINE FROM RUBBERMAID

The Hygen line was designed specifically for the healthcare industry. It is an excellent option for any facility looking to improve its cleaning efficiency, especially during the COVID-19 period. The HYGEN disposable microfiber pad and wipe contribute to the area cleaning as the first step in the disinfection process.

Microfiber pads and wipes

Disposable Microfiber Pads HYGEN
  • They eliminate 99.7% or more of the viruses and bacteria tested to help improve cleaning efficiency. And this was tested with water only
  • Help reduce cross-contamination with disposable pads/wipes that encourage cleaning with new pads/wipes for each area or task
Disposable Microfiber Wipes HYGEN
  • They are compatible with common disinfectants, including Quat (does not bind), bleach and hydrogen peroxide
  • Built-in scrub strips are made of polyester to help effectively remove dirt

DEMONSTRATION OF THE DISPOSABLE MICROFIBER

Here’s a video from Rubbermaid Commercial Products. They demonstrated the benefit of their Hygen disposable microfiber wipe compared to a paper towel and a disinfectant wipe. They use a fluorescent marker to demonstrate and verify cleaning practices.

Thus, using this disposable microfiber with a disinfectant provides an added layer of assurance. They will clean and disinfect well your floors and surfaces by combining the microbe removal power of the microfiber with the disinfectant’s killing power.

Electrostatic disinfection

Siozen electrostatic sprayer

Since the beginning of the pandemic, demands for electrostatic sprayers have exploded as an efficient way to disinfect key touch points and ensure environmental safety. While effective on a wide range of surfaces, it is important for cleaning teams to understand how it works, the cost considerations and the best facilities for using it. Therfore, this is a free translation of Cleanlink‘s article, What to know about electrostatic spraying.

What’s electrostatic disinfection

Electrostatic spraying or disinfection is the process of spraying an electrostatically charged mist onto surfaces and objects.

The electrostatic sprayer is electrically charged, allowing the specialized solution and disinfectants to envelop and evenly coat all types of surfaces. Designed to kill germs, bacteria and various types of viruses. It is a safe, fast, effective and non-contact application to limit the risk of cross-contamination.

How does it work?

Siozen - how it works

Electrostatic sprayers use positively charged atomized particles to electromagnetically adhere disinfectant chemicals to negative target surfaces.

They use an electrode inside the sprayer to atomize the cleaning solution. The particles emerge from the nozzle as a spray that clings to any contact points it can find.

For example, no matter what angle it is used for surfaces disinfection, the droplets created by the electrostatic sprayer cause the disinfectant to cling to areas such as chairs, under tables or desks.

Although it is easy to apply, well-trained personnel is essential to ensure that the application process is optimal and safe for the staff.

What are the costs?

The cost generally depends on the type of facility as well as the size of the area to be treated.

In the long-term, electrostatic disinfection protects businesses from costly financial issues associated with contagious healthcare infections. It also reduces the costs associated with providing effective disinfectant solutions.

Is it effective against COVID-19

This depends since the electrostatic sprayer does not, in itself, kill COVID-19 or the coronavirus. The disinfectant to be used in conjunction with this technology must be on the list of disinfectants with evidence for use against COVID-19 by Health Canada. Lalema‘s Myosan TB is one of them.

What types of properties are best suited for electrostatic disinfection?

This process is perfect for a variety of property types, including office buildings, healthcare facilities, shopping centers, industrial parks, condominiums, educational facilities, and government and hospitality projects. It also reaches a vast number of areas that highly covered by bacteria, otherwise difficult to access with standard cleaning methods by applying a uniform, solid coating to all surfaces.

Electrostatic disinfection is widely used in healthcare facilities as a safe and effective process in viral infection control programs, providing non-contact cleaning, thereby limiting the spread of bacteria.

Take a look at our sprayers/misters!

Free translation of What to know about electrostatic spraying by Cleanlink

Sources:
– https://www.cleanlink.com/news/article/What-To-Know-About-Electrostatic-Spraying–28092
– https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/drugs-health-products/disinfectants/covid-19/list.html

Disinfection devices during the Olympics

Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter are now over. Most of you have already seen video footage of the robots that cook foods, mix drinks and serve in order to avoid contamination. But have you seen the disinfection devices the staff use to disinfect most areas and objects? It’s quite futuristic, but the future is now.

Disinfectant misters

Used by a human or a robot, the industrial misters

Ultraviolet Germicidal Light Lamp

In the footage,

Scanner with UV-Light

While disinfectant mist may damage electronic devices, they are put into a scanner with UV-light

Sterilization cabinet

As seen in the video, they have developed a sterilization cabinet to make sure that the handheld metal detector wands are germ-free.

People also wear KN95 or N95 masks to take precautions to avoid transmission of COVID-19.

Lalema Express: New transactional website

For a rare occasion, we would like to interrupt the serious subject of disinfection since we usually ramble about that! During this cold winter that we’re having, let’s bring up a new and hot subject called Lalema Express! And so, it is our brand new transactional website for local supply of sanitary & self-service amenities. It was officially launched in August 2021, during Covid-19 time.

Lalema Express LX

Lalema Express is…

– Efficient, simple, user-friendly and local

Designed for everyone, you can find what you need in just a few clicks!

– Trend products

Like any good website, Lalema express makes sure to have products that are up to date to the latest news!

– Savings

If you are looking for discounts on cleaning products, we have that section dedicated to this purpose!

– Flexibility in payment options

This transactional website offers flexibility in payment options. No need to create a new transactional account or get a new credit card if you already have one of the payment options below.

Payment options

Go take a look!

The proper maintenance of respiratory equipment

Clean medical inhaler
Photo by Mockup Graphics on Unsplash

When we talk about disinfection, we talk about the prevention and control of infection in the environment. Therefore, equipment used for respiratory therapy is considered semi-critical. The equipment must then be cleaned and disinfected properly between patients. The WHO gives us the proper maintenance of respiratory equipment in procedures to follow. The procedures are checklists in steps of a cycle. Let’s explore all the summarized steps up to the cycle finish. And yes, the cleaning step is before the disinfection step!

Checklists for care, cleaning, disinfection and sterilization of respiratory devices

1. Perform hand hygiene

The title and image say it all

2. Don appropriate personal protective equipment

The personal protective equipment to be worn during the disinfectant preparation includes surgical mask/respirator, googles/face shield, long-sleeved fluid resistant gown/gown plus apron, rubber gloves and boots or closed work shoes.

3. Wash with detergent and rinse with clean water

The external device surfaces must be wiped with a damp cloth or disposable wipe that is soaked in detergent and clean water. Then, remaining detergent residue must be wiped off with a dry lint-free cloth. A mechanical action (scrubbing/brushing) should be used to remove visible dirt deposits and calcifications.

4. Disinfect

4a. Physical disinfection – Heat for heat resistant equipement (steam/hot-water)

A high-level of physical disinfection can be achieved with steam (e.g. autoclaving at lower temperature) or hot-water at least 121°C. This is an inexpensive and effective method for sterilization or high-level disinfection.

4b. Chemical disinfection for plastic plus other parts that can be damaged by heat

b) If the disinfection needs to be with chemicals solutions, it should be performed in a well-ventilated area and away from patients. Use a disposable wipe or a fresh cloth that is soaked in a compatible disinfectant. Hydrogen peroxide 0.5% or ethanol 70-90%. Wipe from top to bottom and avoid contact with electrical connectors.

5. Dry equipment / Rinse equipment

a) Physical equipment often has a drying feature within the machine (e.g. washer, pasteurizer or autoclave). Following pasteurization, the wet equipment is typically dried in a hot-air drying cabinet or air-dried. Make sure to carefully inspect and ensure that no water is left in the equipment.

b) If a chemical solution was used for disinfection, rinse the equipment with sterile or clean water (i.e. water boiled for 5 mins and cooled down). It is preferred to use sterile water for rinsing off residual liquid chemical disinfectant from the respiratory device.

6. Store equipment in closed packages

Last step. Title says it all.

This was a summary of the Care, cleaning and disinfection of respiratory equipment in sterile services department’s article by World Health Organization.

This article is a free translation of WHO’s article.

Source:
World Health Organization
– https://www.who.int/publications/m/item/care-cleaning-and-disinfection-of-respiratory-equipment-in-sterile-services-department
– https://www.who.int/images/default-source/health-topics/coronavirus/care-cleaning-disinfection-of-respiratory-equipment.tmb-479v.png?sfvrsn=14530f0b_1

Disinfection in 3D

Reading time: 2 mins

Building managers are learning a lot about hidden pathogens with new 3D imaging technologies now available in North America. They are learning especially a lot in healthcare, education sectors and foodservice industry.

Essentially, these systems create a map which indicates the locations and amounts of pathogens on a surface. According to a press release from the infection prevention technology company, Optisolve, what has evolved in this learning is the “3Ds” of cleaning in order to help prevent the spread of infections.

IMAGES IN 3D

The 3D images refer to the three key challenges that building managers should manage to help ensure that building users stay healthy, says Optisolve CEO Brad Evans.

According to Evans, 3Ds refer to the following:

DETECT

The first step in keeping users healthy is to locate health-threatening pathogens in the building.

DISINFECT

Once located, these surfaces must first be cleaned and then disinfected.

“As with ATP monitors, imaging technologies cannot determine what pathogens are present,” says Evans. “As a result, ‘broad range’ or ‘broad spectrum’ disinfectants that kill a variety of pathogens should always be used.”

DISCUSS

For example, if pathogens are located on one window ledge, this information must be discussed and shared with administrators and all cleaning professionals in the facility.

“Unfortunately, when imaging technologies point out a potentially contaminated surface, administrators and cleaning professionals often believe the problem is confined to that specific area” says Evans. “In many cases, however, if one specific area is contaminated, we find the same problem in similar areas throughout the facility.”

Free translation of: https://www.cleanlink.com/news/article/The-Three-Ds-Of-Infection-Control–24664

FROM 3D TO 4D -> DISCOVER

Visit www.lalema.com with our huge catalog of 35,000 hygiene and sanitation products for infection control.

To clean or to disinfect? a simple definition.

When it comes to cleanliness, some people are mixing technical terms leading to ambiguity. It is like mixing chemicals together: That is not a good idea! To keep it simple, we’ll just give a real definition.

Deteriorated surfaces definition

A deteriorated surface shows wear off sign often caused by time or misuse.

Deterioration is one of three elements of impairment of property, the others being functional obsolescence (or obsolescence) and economic obsolescence.

surfaces-vetustes definition

Safe surfaces definition

Safe surface means that it is safe to health. Such surface is healthy or good for health often because of risk management. In the food industry, this is why we often refer to it as food safety.
Safe is also synonymous to hygienic !

corridor-hopital-lalema definition

Disinfected surfaces definition

Disinfection is a voluntary momentary removal operation of certain bacteria (if it comes to “all germs” we refer more to sterilization), so as to stop or prevent infection or the risk of infection or superinfection by pathogenic or undesirable microorganisms or viruses.

For example:

  • To sanitize a surface eliminates 99.9% of microorganisms (This is a 1,000 X reduction)
  • To disinfect a surface removes 99.999% of microorganisms (This is a 100,000 X reduction)
  • To sterilize a surface or instrument removes 99.9999% of microorganisms (This is a 1,000,000 X reduction)

Obviously, “momentarily” is a key fator because the surface will be contaminated again as soon a a contaminant will enter in contact with the it. That’s why some disinfectants have a residual effect that prolongs the action of disinfectant for a certain time.

biofilm-1024x767 definition

To learn more

Visit l’Academy Lalema for a whole lot of online training in sanitation and surface disenfection..

Sources: Larousse, Wikipedia, Linternaute

COVID-19 generated hygiene and sanitation costs of $ 12,604.22 per hospitalization in 2020-2021

COVID-19 generated hygiene and sanitation costs of $ 12,604.22 per hospitalization in 2020-2021.

A BIG THANK-YOU

Great good for us, because all this work in hygiene and sanitation, with working conditions not always easy, is an integral part of our health system. It’s a whole.

Thank you for this great job to all the teams who have worked and who are still working hard to keep the spaces clean and well disinfected in our healthcare facilities.

2020-2021 FINANCIAL ANALYSIS

According to public financial data issued by the Ministry of Health and Social Services, between April 1, 2020 and March 31, 2021, assuming a “normal” increase of 6% based on the 3 previous years, the extraordinary costs associated with hygiene and sanitation increased by + 49%. As this unpredictable surplus was not budgeted a priori, it was considered non-recurring and was entered as an “adjustment” in the vast majority of health establishments.

The main if not the only reason for this discrepancy is of course the surpluses required from the hygiene and sanitation teams due to COVID-19, but also the costs generated by the numerous ex situ screening and vaccination clinics.

Budget 2020-2021 - Hygiène et salubrité en pandémie de COVID-19

2020-2021 HOSPITALIZATION ANALYSIS DUE TO COVID-19

According to INSPQ data, between April 1, 2020 and March 31, 2021, there were 20,628 hospital admissions. Of this number 17,262 hospitalizations are said to be outside intensive care and 3,366 hospitalizations are in intensive care.

COSTS GENERATED BY COVID-19 IN HYGIENE AND HEALTH

So in 2020-2021, we can estimate that the budget surpluses are in the order of $ 260 million. A lot of money you will tell me? Yes and no. We are talking about an addition of about 3,000 hygiene and sanitation workers who cover a total area of ​​over 8.3 million square meters! This surplus is distributed as follows:

COST OF HYGIENE AND SANITATION PER HOSPITALIZATION IN THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC

By taking the budget surplus ($ 260M) by hospitalizations (20,628), we arrive at the sum of $ 12,604.22. Of course, this figure includes all direct and indirect expenses related to hygiene and sanitation such as supervision, maintenance of public places, cleaning and disinfection of places associated with prevention such as screening and vaccination sites. .

SOURCES

INSPQ Data on COVID 19

MSSS 2020-2021 Financial Data

Cleaning in Hospitals (part 4)

Work_Organization

How can proper work organization contribute to the cleanliness of a hospital? How to be in the right place with the right equipment? Here are the questions we are going to answer in this post of the Cleaning in Hospitals series.

Evaluation of production needs

First, we need to assess the needs in hygiene and cleanliness. In order to do this, a standard evaluation is preferable but it needs to be adjusted based on the type of place, units, and traffic.

It is during the evaluation of needs that the hygiene and cleanliness estimate (see Cleaning in Hospitals part 2) is going to be determined. All daily, weekly, monthly, and annual tasks have to be considered.

Usually, the results are presented by production yields (square meters/hour) or FTE (Full Time Equivalent).

How to reduce time waste

How to measure productivity in a context where an important aspect of the task is moving? Actually, hygiene and cleanliness departments are almost always in the basement, whereas most of their work happens on the floors!

We increase productivity by reducing traveling.

It is for this reason that the cleaning cart needs to be as complete as possible and the water sources or janitor’s closets well stocked with supplies (i.e.: paper products or waste bags), equipment, and sanitary products.
Moreover, it is important to remember that a good entrance carpet can greatly reduce dirt.

Have a successful day!

Here are a few hints on how to have a successful day:

  • Establish a sequence of actions to perform in a day/week/month
  • Define a sequential order of rooms
  • Integrate linked and periodical tasks (monthly)
  • Make sure to have time gaps to focus on periodical tasks (dusting of high surfaces, polishing, etc.)
  • Minimize traveling
  • Work by space and not by task
  • Distribute tasks equitably
  • One look is worth a thousand words: choose a colorful plan together with some graphics instead of a list of tasks on a word file!

This is all for this series of posts on Cleaning in Hospitals! Don’t forget that we’re always here to help, don’t hesitate to book an appointment by calling 514.645.2753 or subscribe to one of our training seminars. I really hope that you liked this serie of posts!

References:
Hygiène et salubrité en milieux de soins – Démarche pour le développement de stratégies d’entretien des surfaces, MSSS, 2010, 52 pages.

Cleaning in Hospitals (part 3)

cleaning-hospital-staff

The hygiene and cleanliness staff represents a key element in the fight against infections in hospital environments. Often little valued, their role in the global strategy of surface cleaning is extremely important.

The hygiene that comes from the work of the cleaning staff requires a high performance level. In order to reach that, the executing staff and the managers need to master all the different elements representing this profession.

Cleaning products and equipment are undeniably crucial in order to ensure performance during the environment asepsis of any establishment. Therefore, it is important to associate the day-to-day actions of the cleaning staff with a range of products and equipment that favor the quality of their performance.

Since several years, partly due to the devotion and the involvement of many members in the healthcare system, we take into consideration new factors:

  • Provincial training
  • Establishment of an AEP hygiene and cleanliness in healthcare environments of 630 hours now offered by many school boards
  • Provincial day of hygiene and cleanliness
  • Etc.

Having said this, the hygiene and cleanliness staff deserves our deepest gratitude. Thank you so much!

The next post is going to talk more in detail about one aspect of their profession: work organization.

Don’t miss any posts about this series, subscribe to this blog!

References:

Hygiène et salubrité en milieux de soins – Démarche pour le développement de stratégies d’entretien des surfaces, MSSS, 2010, 52 pages.

Cleaning in Hospitals (part 2)

cleaning-hospitals

Cleaning in hospitals allows reducing risks of infection among patients. This is not the only factor, of course: good personal hygiene habits such as washing hands and the use of protective equipment such as overalls, gloves, masks, or protective glasses are also important elements.

For this reason, interventions must be well coordinated in order to have a good surface maintenance plan. The manager of hygiene and cleanliness should therefore take into account:

  • The type of place associated to the level of risk
  • The tasks to perform
  • The required cleaning frequency

If well applied, a detailed estimate allows validating the cleaning performance.

The global approach is going to be determined by type of place:

  • Regular eradication (e.g.: operating rooms)
  • Keeping environmental effects as light as possible (e.g.: low infection risk such as individual office spaces)
  • Balance of microorganisms. This approach is based on the competition between good and bad microbes. The presence of good microbes guarantees less space for bad microbes to grow (e.g.: living environments)
  • Green cleaning. Approach that uses less toxic products
  • Review and improve arrangements and/or surfaces (during conception or renovation)

The next post of this series is going to talk about another key factor: the hygiene and cleanliness staff.

References:

Le nettoyage dans les hôpitaux du 21e siècle by Dr. Stephanie J. Dancer, Medical, Microbiology, Hairmyres Hospital, UK appeared on the magazine Le Nettoyage professionnel, July/August 2012.

Hygiène et salubrité en milieux de soins – Démarche pour le développement de stratégies d’entretien des surfaces, MSSS, 2010, 52 pages.

Cleaning in Hospitals (part 1)

hospital-cleaning

For a long time, cleaning has been all about the look; fresh smell and the absence of stains or dirt were the criteria to determine that a place is clean. Today, these criteria are still generally accepted in environments such as offices and classrooms.

It’s common knowledge, however, that microbes (bacteria or viruses) invisible to the human eye represent a risk for spreading infections. Take the example of the influenza virus: it can survive for up to 48 hours on a hard surface!

Without cleaning and disinfection procedures or a quality check procedure, microbes can survive in hospital environments.

Three key elements have to be considered in order to perform an infective risk analysis:

  • Is the patient carrying a disease agent? Disease agents are classified based on their spreading capacity and their virulence. The choice of a disinfectant will be based on this.
  • Do the functional activities of a sector represent a risk of spreading infections from the environment? E.g.: food service, offices, Intensive Care, etc.
  • The intensity of contact is related to the traffic and the surfaces that are more likely to be touched. E.g.: bathroom fittings.

Have you already performed an infective risk analysis? The next post is going to explain how cleaning allows reducing risks of infection among patients.

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References:

Le nettoyage dans les hôpitaux du 21e siècle by Dr. Stephanie J. Dancer, Medical, Microbiology, Hairmyres Hospital, UK appeared on the magazine Le Nettoyage professionnel, July/August 2012.

Hygiène et salubrité en milieux de soins – Démarche pour le développement de stratégies d’entretien des surfaces, MSSS, 2010, 52 pages.

A Brief History of Bleach 2021

Bleach has been studied for the first time by a French chemist named Claude Louis Berthollet in 1775. His factory was based in Paris in the district of… Javel! That is why the French are calling it: Eau de Javel (Javel Water).

Javel Underground, Paris, France

JAVEL Undergroud Station in Paris. Photo courtesy of Google Street View

At first, bleach was used for laundry and as a fade. From 1820, a pharmacist named Antoine Germain Labarraque studied more deeply its disinfecting properties . In the XIX Century, it was commonly used as a disinfectant and water treatment. The NASA used bleach during the Apollo program to disinfect the Apollo XI rocket after its return, in order to avoid contaminating Earth with potential dangerous viruses!

What is Bleach?

Bleach is composed of sodium hypochlorite (NaClO). For chemistry fans, its chemical formula is as follows:

Cl2 + 2 NaOH → NaCl + NaClO + H2O.

For those who don’t like chemistry, well… the formula is the same!

What’s new with Bleach?

Nowadays, bleach is still used as a disinfectant. Stabilized formulas enable to combine the disinfecting ability of chlorine together with the cleaning ability of surfactants.

Other references: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bleach

We have cleaning solution for you

Visit our web site at www.lalema.com. You will find what you need to distinfect with sodium hypochlorite solution. We are also he owner of Certiklor Technology

How to obtain a more effective disinfection with Certiklör?

What is Certiklör? The name of a new chemical? A new government certification?

None of the above! Simply put, Certiklör technology is the insurance for you, your patients and all Canadians to achieve a better, more efficient and high quality disinfection. Certiklör is a proprietary technology developed by Lalema for you. This technology ensures that you have in the bottle, an effective stabilized hypochlorite, and here to stay!

Let’s talk about surface disinfection

How to safely perform cleaning and disinfection a surface soiled with bodily fluid and dispose of waste properly?

Here is some of the content from my exclusive training on Infection Prevention and Control in the Presence of Body Fluids. This training (in French with English documentation), presented in the form of short video clips (nearly forty), lasts approximately 2 hours and covers several exclusive and relevant content for hygiene and sanitation workers.

Disinfection

OVERVIEW OF THE CONTENT OF A TRAINING ON DISINFECTION TECHNIQUES

  • The main microbes to which sanitary maintenance workers can be exposed, the associated risks and the means of transmission
  • Basic concepts in sanitary maintenance for cleaning and disinfecting surfaces
  • The different body fluids (body fluids) and the associated risk factors
  • Products and accessories for cleaning and disinfection
  • Personal protective equipment
  • Cleaning and disinfection techniques including hand washing.

THE MAIN MICROBES TO WHICH HEALTH MAINTENANCE WORKERS MAY BE EXPOSED, THE ASSOCIATED RISKS AND THE MEANS OF TRANSMISSION

  • Microbes
  • Viruses or bacteria
  • Reproduction of bacteria
  • Survival of bacteria on surfaces
  • Infectious risk
  • Transmission of infections
  • Virus or bacteria

BASIC CONCEPTS IN SANITARY MAINTENANCE FOR THE CLEANING AND DISINFECTIONS OF SURFACES

  • Basics
  • Sinner’s Circle
  • Wetting power
  • Micelles
  • Foaming power
  • PH scale
  • Eradication of microbes
  • Contact time
  • DIN
  • Types of disinfectants
  • Why dilute a product
  • Always read the manual
  • 7 ways to make maintenance safer

THE DIFFERENT BODY FLUIDS (BIOLOGICAL LIQUIDS) AND THE ASSOCIATED RISK FACTORS

  • Body fluids and associated risks
  • Body fluids (body fluids)
  • Risk factors

PRODUCTS AND ACCESSORIES FOR CLEANING AND DISINFECTION

  1. Produits et accessoires
  2. Trousse de matériel

LES ÉQUIPEMENTS DE PROTECTION INDIVIDUELLE

  • Personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • Hand hygiene
  • Dressing procedure
  • Undressing procedure
  • Practical advice
  • Wearing the mask

CLEANING AND DISINFECTION TECHNIQUES

  • Cleaning and disinfection steps
  • Steps to follow
  • Cleaning and disinfection procedure
  • Waste management
  • What is biomedical waste

FORMATIVE ASSESSMENT

A training cannot be complete without a formal evaluation! This is why we offer each participant a quiz of 10 questions before issuing a superb attestation!

So, are you going to try?

Clean first, then disinfect

Cleaning with a microfiber cloth

Cleaning and disinfection have long been routine in any facility. Of course, the COVID-19 pandemic has further highlighted these operations since SARS-CoV-2 can persist on various surface materials for hours or days. Facilities have sought to improve these cleaning and disinfection practices. Therefore, it is imperative that this process be orderly. Therefore, this article addresses the importance of cleaning before disinfecting. Cleaning and disinfection should be a 2-step process to reduce the risk of transmission of environmental infections.

Clean first! Why?

Primum nitidare – “D’abord nettoyer (Clean First)”. It is a book that my coworker, Gaétan Lanthier, wrote in 2019. It is to say that this is not a new subject!

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) cites: “cleaning is “the necessary first step of any sterilization or disinfection process” or, more
simply, you must clean first before you can disinfect.”

The CDC adds: “Cleaning is the necessary first step of any sterilization or disinfection process. Cleaning is a form of decontamination that renders
the environmental surface safe to handle or use by removing organic matters, salts, and visible soils, all of which interfere with microbial inactivation.”

It’s in the mechanical action (friction)

As the CDC mentions it: “The physical action of scrubbing with detergents and surfactants and rinsing with water removes large numbers of
microorganisms from surfaces.”

Studies have shown that friction or mechanical action is at the heart of cleaning. This facilitates the effective removal of dirt, debris, microbes and soiling, making a surface ready for disinfection if necessary.

It’s a matter of interference

The CDC defines cleaning as the “necessary first step” in any disinfection process for “at least two” important reasons: it removes any barrier between the disinfectant and the target pathogen, and it removes materials that could potentially inactivate the disinfectant.

In order to effectively kill pathogens, disinfectant chemicals must have direct contact with the pathogen; however, soils, dirt, and debris can coat or
protect microorganisms, essentially serving as a protective barrier between the chemical and the target.

The build-up to biofiolms

Another important reason to clean first before disinfecting has less to do with the immediate action of a disinfectant on a surface. Rather, it is in prevention of a future problem, namely the buildup to biofilms.

Biofilms are populations of microorganisms attached to a solid surface and protected by a “viscous layer”. This layer is an extracellular matrix of polysaccharides and non-cellular materials.

Biofilms can virtually form on any hard surface, from the countertop to the water pipe. They are involved in a range of infectious diseases.

What about touch-free technology?

Comac ULVC Electrostatic Sprayer for Disinfection

Although research has shown that many of these systems, from ultraviolet light (UV-C) to hydrogen peroxide vapor (HPV) to electrostatic sprayers, can reduce microbial contamination, experts caution that they should be used as a complement to standard manual cleaning and disinfection rather than as a replacement.

Organic matters, dirt and grimes are a limiting factor for UV-C technology.
A light or heavy organic load has a significant negative impact on the destructive efficiency of the devices.

In short, clean first with mechanical action (friction) to remove dirt, debris and microbes. The disinfection step is to be done when the interferences are removed by cleaning in order to kill microbes. This reduces the risk of transmission of environmental infections by keeping surfaces clean.

Loose translation of Rubbermaid TWO STEPS FOR A REASON:
THE CASE FOR CLEANING PRIOR TO DISINFECTION

https://www.rubbermaidcommercial.com/resource-center/1b113258af3968aaf3969ca67e744ff8/The_Case_for_Cleaning_Prior_to_Disinfection_White_Paper/

Sources:
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/disinfecting-building-facility.html

Disinfection – The Power of Steam

Credit – Andrew Knechel Unsplash

Disinfection using disinfectant cleaners with active ingredients including alcohol and quaternary ammonium has often been discussed. Another disinfection solution is to disinfect with steam and pressure. Cleaning with the power of steam is a proven method of disinfection. Dry saturated steam at high temperatures kills viruses, bacteria, germs and bedbugs! It is an environmentally friendly and practical way to clean all kinds of surfaces.

THE POWER OF STEAM

The power of steam is to dissolve and emulsify grease, mold, dirt by vaporizing and killing viruses, bacteria and germs.

WHAT ABOUT SARS-CoV-2?

Despite that the power of steam kills viruses, bacteria and germs, opinions vary and there may be a lack of evidence that it can kill SARS-CoV-2 virus. The list of approved disinfectants put out by The Environmental Protection Agency only includes chemicals.

Patty Olinger, the executive director of the Global Biorisk Advisory Council, a division of ISSA (a cleaning industry trade association), said that, based on current evidence, while steam can kill the virus, it needs a lengthier application time than some users may realize.

On the other hand, Heidi Wilcox, a microbiologist and commercial cleaning consultant, says that: “At this point during the pandemic I would not use steam at all.” She cites a lack of strong evidence.

Then again, industry representatives such as Wayne Delfino from Advanced Vapor Technologies of Everett, Washington, insist that dry steam vapor works. The company’s non-chemical, “Thermo Accelerated Nano Crystal Sanitation” technology, he wrote in an email, “has been tested and proven effective on harder-to-kill viruses and on a similar human coronavirus in seven seconds or less.”

SURFACES TO CLEAN

Steam cleaners can clean and disinfect all kinds of surfaces. With the right tools, they can concentrate the jets to properly clean specific surfaces and hard-to-reach areas. Here are some examples:

  • Clothing
  • Mirrors
  • Seals (e.g. ceramic)
  • Mattresses and bedding
  • Stainless steel
  • Floors
  • Grids and hoods
  • ECOLOGICAL
  • Steam machines are said to be environmentally friendly because they require no chemicals. Only water is needed to steam disinfect and clean thoroughly.

NEED STEAMER MACHINES?

Power Steamer Machine JS 1600C

Power Steamer Machine JS 1600C

The power of steam from JS1600C attacks grease, grime, hard water deposits and mold. It leaves surfaces clean and sanitized without the use of chemicals. Operator safety is assured by the 12V waterproof switches and controls, a pressure switch, a high-limit thermal shutoff and an LED display informing the operator when the water level is low. The Energy saving safety system also automatically shuts off the machine if it’s idle for 60 minutes.

  • The tank can be filled while the unit is running, allowing for continuous use
  • Excellent on grouted floors, showers, kitchens and any area where detail cleaning is a challenge
  • Very effective in all food preparation and processing areas, including stainless steel range hoods in kitchens
  • Ideal for hotel rooms – spot draperies, bedspreads and carpets, and even kill bed bugs and their eggs on mattresses
  • Clean floors with the optional “steam mop” and 33′ hose
  • The continuous flow system provides the necessary steam to remove dirt and built-up soil while leaving your floors and surfaces virtually dry

Ecological Vapor with Vacuum A2006

Commercial Ecological Vapor with Vacuum A2006

The Vapore A2006 acts as two machines in one unit. The vapor not only dissolves dirt and grime, but is scientifically certified to disinfect any surface, thoroughly eliminating bacteria and viruses in an ecological way without use of chemicals.

  • With the water filtration system of the vacuum, Vapore A2006 collects dirt and traps it in the water without the risk of spreading dust
  • Vapore A2006 also has a HEPA filtration system to ensure the cleanliness of the air is not compromised
  • Equipped with a cold water reservoir, the Vapore A2006 has a continuous fill feature which allows you to refill the vapor system with water at any time, without stopping
  • The machine comes with a variety of floor accessory and tools

There’s no proof that the power of steam can kill SARS-CoV-2, but the virus is known to be sensitive to the exposure of high-temperature. Could it be a question of exposure length or a question of chemicals? However, the power of steam can be useful for general disinfection.

Visit our catalog of steam machines or any other type of disinfectant cleaners on lalema.com.

Source:
https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-nation-paralyzed-by-a-pathogen-deep-cleaners-have-their-day/
https://new.nilfisk.com/global/articles/steam-solution-when-hygiene-is-critical/

Does going digital make healthcare too complicated?

We have seen that healthcare is starting to shift towards digitization, and many believe that the future of healthcare will be digital. But there are some who are hesitant to adopt technology when it comes to their health, and it is not without reason.

As we have already seen, there are many benefits to the digitization of healthcare, the main ones being (1) convenience, (2) low-cost, (3) improved patient experiences, (4) improved access to healthcare and (5) decreased risks of acquiring an HAI. These benefits are all significant, but how will it affect the people who aren’t as familiar with technology or aren’t as tech-savvy’s access to healthcare?

A recent article published by Forbes discusses the difficulties that people trying to access online health services may face. According to the article, many online healthcare platforms are needlessly complicated and confusing, which makes many people more hesitant and less inclined to use these services.

According to Dale Cook, CEO of Learn to Live, an online mental health company,

“When people are already struggling with mental fitness, it can create limitations in how much bandwidth they have for complications. Facing technical problems when they’re trying to get help is the last distraction that they need.”

Dale Cook, Retrieved from Forbes.com (2019)

Learn to Live is one of the few online healthcare services that has been successful in creating an easy-to-use digital interface. They have done a lot of primary research, through the use of focus groups, user experiences and commentaries, which has allowed them to ensure that their clients have a pleasant experience.

So what can be done to make digital healthcare more accessible to all?

Burger (2019) stresses the importance of simplicity and empathy when designing an online medical service.

With the majority of developed nations experiencing an ageing population, those who are 70 and over will continue to be the group of people who consult doctors the most frequently. One concern is that the older population is not tech-savvy, and will not be able to use these online services. However, most of these people are able to use technology; online platforms just need to simplified for them to use.

In terms of empathy, the article discusses how online medical companies need to attempt to understand what their clientele is experiencing. For example, Jeff Johnson, a computer science professor from the University of San Francisco states,

“We see age-related changes beginning at age 50. That’s when fonts become too small, speech-enabled technologies are too fast and click targets are too little to hit reliably.”

Jeff Johnson, Retrieved from Forbes.com

Online health service companies need to understand that the clients seeking their help are either not well or concerned about their personal health. Taking this into consideration, it is essential that companies make their online interfaces more accessible for their clients.

The future of digital healthcare

As digital healthcare continues to become more important, it will be essential that these online health companies ensure that their services are simple for users, and that they take into consideration what patients may be going through when seeking their services.

Source:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/nextavenue/2019/03/15/when-going-digital-makes-health-care-harder/#4d9bd6db340c

Staying safe during the second wave of Covid-19

Coronavirus – 2019-nCoV, WUHAN virus concept. 3D Rendering of coronavirus. 3D Illustration

Since the start of the fall, Quebec, as well as Canada, has been dealing with the second wave of Covid-19, the virus that turned the world as we knew it upside down and forced us to change our way of living drastically. By now, I’m sure that we’re all tired of hearing about it, however it’s important to remember that we are not yet done with Covid-19 and we should therefore be taking every precaution necessary to keep ourselves and our family members safe. That being said, with all the new information about the virus that keeps being thrown at us every day, it can be difficult to keep up with the symptoms, measures put in place and everything else related to Covid-19.

What are the symptoms and when should you stay home?

By now you’ve probably heard A LOT about the symptoms of Covid-19. However, due to a vast amount of information and misinformation, there is a lot of confusion about what exactly are the symptoms of the virus. So what are the the symptoms of Covid-19 and when should you stay home? This section will clarify any confusion you may have had!

The first set of symptoms are known as “Group A”. “Group A” symptoms are the symptoms most commonly associated with the virus. In the case of Covid-19, “Group A” symptoms include:

1) Fever
2) New or worsening cough
3) Difficulty breathing
4) Sudden unexplained loss of taste or smell

If you have any one of the “Group A” symptoms, you should stay home and get tested for Covid-19.

The second set of symptoms are known as “Group B”. These symptoms are less commonly associated with the virus, however still do occur. In the case of Covid-19, these symptoms include:

1) Sore throat
2) Muscle/joint pain
3) Intense fatigue
4) Headaches
5) Nausea, vomiting and/or diarrhea
6) Loss of appetite

In the case of “Group B”, you should stay home if you have two or more of these symptoms.

It is also important to note that you should also stay home if you have been in direct contact with someone who is Covid-19 positive, even if you do not present any symptoms.

Precautions

While there is still some confusion about the symptoms of Covid-19 and when you should be staying home, the precautions are a bit more straightforward. The main precautions to take in order to keep yourself safe are the following:

1) Hand hygiene
2) Maintain a distance of 2 meters (social distancing)
3) Wearing a mask
4) Staying home if symptomatic or if you have been in direct contact with someone who is Covid-19 positive.

Hand hygiene is one of the most important things, even when we are not living through a pandemic, and is often done incorrectly or not taken seriously enough.

Since the start of Covid-19, the use of protective equipment has become extremely important (and even mandatory in the case of face masks). After you are done with your face mask, and you are ready to take it off, it is important that you wash your hands both before and after taking it off. If you are also using gloves, it is really important to remember that gloves are not substitute for hand hygiene. Make sure that you wash your hands immediately after taking off your gloves. Do not skip steps with handwashing; it is critical in order to avoid touching your face with infected hands!

To learn about proper hand hygiene, you can refer to our post, “Handwashing really is important” ;
https://www.ramblingsaboutdisinfection.com/handwashing-really-is-important/

Stay Safe

HealthNews Florida, 2020.

We are all tired of Covid-19 and all of the inconveniences it has brought to our lives. However, we are not out of the woods yet and it is important to keep practicing all of the safety precautions necessary. Let’s get through this second wave safely, by wearing a face mask, keeping a 2 meter distance and washing your hands often!

Surface Cleaning Methods & Products with RCP

Hygen microfiber from Rubbermaid Commercial Products
Hygen microfiber from Rubbermaid Commercial Products

The COVID-19 has led us to adopt new protocols to ensure patient and staff safety in healthcare facilities. Having said that, it is crucial to equip yourself with the right surface cleaning and disinfection products in healthcare facilities! What are the right products? How should you clean? Let’s explore them with the help from Rubbermaid Commercial Products, a world leader in the commercial cleaning industry! Of course, in these strange days, depending on the availability of some products, Lalema has suggestions as well ;)!

SURFACE CLEANING PRODUCTS

First of all, here are some products suggested by RCP for surface cleaning. Overall, most of them are available. Otherwise, we have replacements.

Recommended surface cleaning products
Recommended surface cleaning products

Hygen microfiber cloths – Rubbermaid Commercial Products’ all-purpose 16″ x 16″ HYGEN microfiber cloths remove 99.9% of the viruses and bacteria tested on surfaces.

Bowl Brush – This bowl brush has a plastic handle. The brush is made of polypropylene bristles. It is odor and stain resistant.

Toilet brush holder – This toilet brush holder is made of polypropylene. It is stain and odor resistant.

Bottle and Sprayer: Graduated bottle for inserting and spraying cleaning solutions.

As a replacement for Hygen disposable microfiber cloths and its charging tub system, we suggest this:

Dry Wipes and MYOSAN TB Kit – Kit of dry wipes and MYOSAN TB designed to disinfect and eliminate microorganisms on hard surfaces. It should inactivate the new coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

Dry Wipes and MYOSAN TB Kit
Dry Wipes and MYOSAN TB Kit

BEST PRACTICES

Second, as expectations for cleanliness and hygiene rise, facilities must ensure that they have an established surface cleaning and disinfection process. This includes regular cleaning of high-traffic areas. Below are the best surface cleaning practices used in hospitals around the world today.

CLEANING TIPS

  1. Clean systematically, clockwise or counterclockwise – No surface is forgotten, this process saves time and is more ergonomic
  2. Go from clean to dirty – This reduces the likelihood of the spread of infections and contaminants
  3. Clean from the top to the bottom – Any dust or debris dislodged from the upper surface will naturally fall to the lower surfaces
  4. Wipe in one direction (unidirectional wiping) – Unidirectional wiping ensures that the solution is applied over the entire surface, while circular wiping re-contaminates areas
  5. Color Coding – Use single color wiping cloth for each zone. For example:
  • Red for high risk areas
  • Blue for mirrors
  • Yellow for baths and showers

8-SURFACE FOLDING METHODOLOGY

Finally, the 8-surface folding methodology! This is the 8-sided folding for microfiber cloths. It optimizes the use of the cloth while reducing the risk of cross-contamination during the cleaning process. Here are the steps:

8-SURFACE FOLDING METHODOLOGY
8-SURFACE FOLDING METHODOLOGY

8-surface folding methodology by Rubbermaid Commercial Products

  1. Start by opening a clean microfiber cloth
  2. Fold the microfiber cloth in half
  3. Fold the microfiber cloth into four pieces
  4. Clean surfaces with both sides of the cloth exposed
  5. Open the microfiber cloth once to change the sides
  6. Fold over to expose both clean cleaning surfaces
  7. Fully open the microfiber cloth when all four sides have been used
  8. Repeat steps 2 to 7 to use all eight sides

In short, these tips are only general since we could have gone deeper into the details or in further checklists. However, the importance is to set up a methodology for surface cleaning and disinfection and to be equipped with the right products. Don’t forget to wear personal safety equipment! Let’s save the subject of floor cleaning for another day!

Lalema would like to thank and salute all the staff in the healthcare facilities for their services!

Spotlight on microfiber!

Microfiber cloths
Wipeco multi-use microfiber cloths MFC-1414/10P

As we all know, the cleaning and disinfection of premises and surfaces have never been more critical with the COVID-19 pandemic. We often talk about disinfectant cleaners, but this time the focus is on microfiber cleaning cloths and tools. Since its commercial introduction, microfiber has been part of everyday life because of its reliability and effectiveness in cleaning and wiping.

WHAT IS A MICROFIBER CLOTH?

Microfiber is a synthetic textile fiber (polyester, polyamide or a mixture) that is very fine and light with a denomination which is less than one decitex. The decitex is a unit of measurement: 1 decitex = 1 g / 10 km of yarn. In fact, the term “microfiber” is used when 10 km of yarn weighs less than one gram.

A microfiber (filament) is characterised by its small diameter, the nature of its fiber and its structure. Therefore, not all microfibers are the same or of the same quality.

This revolutionary material has quickly become a must in the hygiene, health and automotive sectors. See how it is made.

THE “STORIES” OF MICROFIBER

No one is entirely sure where and when microfiber was developed. However, here are two interesting stories/versions:

  1. According to Texasmicrofiber:
    “In the late 1950s, various spinning techniques were used to produce ultra-fine fibers. At that time, experiments had resulted in random length pieces, and the first real success occurred in Japan in the 1960s.

    Dr. Miyoshi Okamoto and Dr. Toyohiko Hikota worked on this project to finally find microfibers suitable for industrial use. Ultrasuede fiber was one of the first success stories, and reached the market in the following decade. This led to an explosion in the value of microfibers in the textile sector. »
  2. According to Maboutiqueecolo:
    “It would have been invented by the Swede Rudolf Nordine in the 1980s. The invention of microfiber is said to have come about by chance during the manufacture of “towels” for hairdressing salons. These were so absorbent that they could suck out the dye from freshly dyed hair. Nordine was quick to file a patent to protect this discovery. He was awarded a prize at the Lépine competition in 1998 for this invention at the International Invention Salon in Paris. »

USE AND EFFECTIVENESS

Microfiber has the power to clean and dust different kinds of surfaces without necessarily adding a cleaning product. This is why it can be seen as an organic and ecological product.

Microfiber cloths can be used dry or wet. First, when used dry, they attract dust and trap it in its microfibers (micro-filaments). Then, when wet (with or without a cleaning product), they trap grease and dirt.

During a pandemic, it is used with a disinfectant cleaner to disinfect surfaces. Lalema also suggests using a microfiber cloth with a tuberculocidal disinfectant. This Myosan TB starter kit is an example:

Myosan TB starter kit
Myosan TB starter kit

There are several types of microfiber products for all kinds of surfaces: cloth, pad/mop, feather duster, towel, etc.

HOW TO TAKE CARE OF THEM?

Microfibers are economical and environmentally friendly. They can be reused up to 500 times. “Avez-vous le pouce microfibre?” by Kim Beauregard is an article about the maintenance of microfibers. Unfortunately, it is in French only. But here are key elements:

  • Wash the microfibers separately from other textiles and items
  • Use a small amount of liquid laundry detergent while washing.
  • Do not use a softening agent
  • Wash them in cold or room water
  • Dry the microfibers at low temperature or without heat

So, microfiber is a revolutionary material in the world of cleaning. Whether it is used as a cloth, a pad/mop or a duster, it is the ultimate cleaning tool for cleaning and wiping in many sectors. Finally, microfiber cloths can replace disposable wipes. Use them with a disinfectant product to disinfect the surfaces in your environment.

Lalema has several microfiber products from leading brands.

Sources:
https://www.microfibrefrance.com/quest-ce-quune-microfibre.html
https://www.gralon.net/articles/materiel-et-consommables/materiels-industriels/article-la-microfibre—une-matiere-revolutionnaire-4549.htm
http://www.maboutiqueecolo.com/fr/menage-rapide
https://texasmicrofiber.com/blog/brief-history-microfiber/
https://www.parish-supply.com/microfiber-history.aspx

Places in your community that are high-risk for the spread of infection

I recently read an article on Infection Control Today, which was titled “Examining Ball Pits as a Playground for Pathogenic Organisms.” This article was surprising because, although it seems so obvious now, I would never have even thought about ball pits as a potential source of infection. And yet, ball pits are frequently filled with children, who are known to be more at risk for catching and transmitting infection, and are infrequently disinfected afterwards.

This led me to wonder which other places part of our every day lives are often overlooked as being a source of infection. After doing some more research on the subject, I’ve decided to share with you what I found out.

Source: DoD Live

Playgrounds

Similar to ball pits, it is no wonder that playgrounds are one of the germiest places in the community. Every day, many children go to the playground and make use of the equipment there. And as we all know, children are at high risk for catching and spreading infection. According to Web MD, the sandbox is one of the worst places in terms of contamination, since the sand absorbs bodily fluids like saliva or urine and there is no way to wipe it down after its been used.

Public Restrooms

It should come as no surprise that pubic restrooms appear on the list of high-risk places for germs. However, I’m not sure if people realize to what extent they are contaminated. You wouldn’t touch a toilet seat in a public restroom, but it turns out that faucets and door handles are also extremely contaminated. According to Web MD, even if you’ve washed your hands, you’re still at risk for contamination when you touch the door handle to leave the bathroom. This is because only 31% of men and 65% women actually wash their hands, meaning that the rest contaminate the door handles when they go to open it (Web MD, 2018).

Grocery Stores

You may have already heard that there are a lot of bacteria in grocery stores. The majority are found on shopping carts, where, for example, raw meat packages carrying salmonella are placed or babies are seated with dirty diapers. Most grocery stores have disinfectant wipes near the entrance with the carts, so it is advised that you use them.

Public Transportation

Metros and buses are filled with germs! And it’s not surprising to see why. Thousands of people use public transportation each day, making seats, poles and handles high-touch areas. This makes public transport one of the biggest sources of harmful bacteria.

Gyms

Similarly to all the other sources, gyms are filled with bacteria due to the high number of people who use equipment every day. According to Web MD, it was found that some free weights carried the same types of bacterias found in public restrooms (ick!). It is advised that you use the wipes provided at the gym both before and after using the equipment in order to protect yourself and prevent the spread of bacteria.

What can you do to protect yourself?

You may be wondering how on earth you’re supposed to protect yourself, when you’re surrounded by bacteria! While you can never avoid every germ, there are many ways to protect yourself and avoid getting sick. Web MD (2018) makes the following recommendations:

  1. Wash your hands for 20 seconds with soap and water. And do it often.
  2. If you don’t have access to soap and water, use alcohol-based sanitizer.
  3. Don’t touch your eyes, nose or mouth until you wash your hands.
  4. Use a spare paper towel to grab the public restroom door handle as you leave.

Sources:

https://www.infectioncontroltoday.com/transmission-prevention/examining-ball-pits-playground-pathogenic-organisms

https://symptoms.webmd.com/cold-flu-map/germiest-places

https://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/ss/slideshow-public-germs

Are technological devices a source of hospital-acquired infections?

Source: Air Force Medical Service

You’ve already seen on this blog just how dirty cellphones can get, but did you know that cellphones and other electronics such as tablets and laptops can also cause contamination in a healthcare setting, potentially making them a source of HAIs? Hospital staff use technology throughout their workday, whether it be to enter patient information in a computer or for personal use on their breaks. If they don’t wash their hands before and after using the device, it can become contaminated causing those workers to spread the bacteria all throughout the hospital.

According to Kelly M. Pyrek (2019),

“A casual online poll of ICT readers shows that 83 percent of survey respondents use their personal mobile technology devices within the hospital, and just 68 percent said they clean/decontaminate these devices regularly. Fifty-seven percent of respondents indicated they use a hospital-issued mobile technology device in the course of their workday; 56 percent report cleaning the device themselves, while 7 percent let someone else clean the device.”

Kelly M. Pyrek, Infection Control Today, 2019

Many hospitals are now realizing that technological devices are a potential source of the spread of infection within a healthcare setting and some of them are beginning to implement protocols regarding the use and disinfection of electronics.

That being said, the cleaning and monitoring of technological devices can be complicated. As James Davis, MSN, RN, explains to Infection Control Today (2019), tech companies such as Apple only tell people to wipe down their devices with a damp cloth. However, that recommendation does not take into consideration the use of devices in a healthcare setting, where bacteria and infection are everywhere.

Some recommendations that Davis and Shivek, Phd, senior product engineer, give include:

  • Always washing your hands before and after using your device
  • Placing a layer between the device and the environment is key
    • Phone covers are becoming increasingly popular, however must be replaced frequently
    • Placing the mobile device in a ziploc bag is another option, especially if it’s being brought into an isolation room
  • No matter what, always wipe down the device before and after using it. Even if it was in ziploc bag or had a cover over it, wiping your device is key to ensuring that harmful bacteria are eliminated.

The cleaning and monitoring of technological devices is a daunting task for healthcare facilities, especially if it is an employee’s personal device. Davis (2019) stresses that because of this, employees should be personally responsible for the cleaning and disinfecting of their mobile devices. Although a complicated task, the recommendations provided by Infection Control Today allow us to understand how to better prevent the contamination of our mobile technology, which may in turn help prevent the spread of infection.

Sources:

https://www.infectioncontroltoday.com/transmission-prevention/contaminated-mobile-technology-making-it-part-your-institutions-cleaning-and

https://www.infectioncontroltoday.com/transmission-prevention/mobile-technology-disinfection-contaminated-devices-pose-threat-patients

How to clean and dispose of a mask?

Wearing a mask has become our new habit during the pandemic situation. Therefore, let us explore how to clean and remove a mask or a face cover. In fact, there is more than one way to clean a mask including some additional precautions. So, let’s go over some methods!

CLEAN IN THE LAUNDRY

First, according to Health Canada, if you plan to rewear a reusable (non-medical cloth) mask, we suggest cleaning it by putting it directly in the laundry. It can be washed with other items using a hot water cycle. As for the cleaning product to use, regular laundry soap should be fairly effective, according to the New York Times. In addition, according to Le Parisien, washing with hot water should be at least 60° C for 30 minutes.

Laundry machine

CLEAN BY HAND

Second, following what was shared in the New York Times, experts have said that hand washing face covers in a sink works as well. You should lather the soap and rub the mask for 20 seconds. It’s a similar process to hand washing.

Hand laundry kit

SOAK WITH HOT SOAP

Third, soak the mask in warm soapy water. This method comes from Professor Golemi-Kotra, an expert in molecular biology in Toronto York University. She said the best way to clean a cloth mask would be to soak it in hot, soapy water for at least an hour.

DRY THE MASK

Afterwards, dry the mask completely in the dryer or by hanging it.

Drying masks

ELIMINATE A MASK

Finally, we dispose a mask that cannot be washed when it is wet, soiled or wrinkled. So just throw the mask properly in a lined trash can. It’s the same for a damaged reusable mask or a face cover at the end of its life span. Do not leave your mask lying anywhere else.

In short, these were ways to clean a face cover. Which method is right for you? Above all, do not forget to wash your hands properly before putting on a mask and also after removing it! Also, disinfect your surfaces as well!

Visit Lalema for masks and soaps!

Sources:
https://quebec.huffingtonpost.ca/entry/voici-comment-laver-masques-tissu-faits-maison_qc_5e960ed6c5b6a7e383dfffca
https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/prevention-risks/how-put-remove-clean-non-medical-masks-face-coverings.html
http://www.leparisien.fr/societe/coronavirus-comment-laver-et-entretenir-correctement-son-masque-en-tissu-30-04-2020-8308476.php
https://www.lesoleil.com/actualite/le-masque-en-tissu-doit-etre-desinfecte-apres-chaque-sortie-voici-comment-faire-video-1fcd1b8b27e5a48f580cb589d22273c5

Myosan TB, indirect claim against SARS-CoV-2

Myosan TB is a ready-to-use disinfectant cleaner has a broad spectrum virucidal claim. In accordance with Health Canada’s recommendations, we are authorized to make an indirect claim against SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for COVID-19 [1] [2] .

Myosan TB

MYOSAN TB

Myosan TB can therefore be used as a disinfectant against SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, since it is qualified as part of Health Canada’s approach to emerging viral pathogens for hard-to-use surface disinfectants. against SARS-CoV-2.

Coronaviruses are enveloped viruses, which means that they are among the easiest types of virus to kill with an appropriate disinfectant, when used according to the label directions for use.

To obtain Myosan TB, contact us at (514) 645-2753, or infos@lalema.com, or visit www.myosantb.com. Thank you.

SARS-COV-2 (COVID-19)

Coronavirus are enveloped viruses, which means that they are among the easiest types of virus to kill with an appropriate disinfectant, when used according to the label directions.

VIRUCIDAL

Said of a substance capable of destroying a virus.
A virus is an organism made up of at least two things: genetic material (DNA) and proteins. Being dependent on another organism to reproduce, the virus must find a viable host to multiply.

TUBERCULOSIS

A tuberculocidal agent is a real killer of tuberculous bacilli, tuberculosis creating an infection with the mycobacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

BACTERICIDE

Said of a substance having the capacity to kill bacteria.
A bacterium is a single-celled living organism composed of a membrane, genetic material and cellular machinery. It differs from the virus in that it does not need a host to reproduce; the bacteria is an independent organism.

FUNGICIDE

Said of a substance that destroys fungi.
Fungi, commonly called fungi, are sometimes unicellular, sometimes complex multicellular organisms. Composed of a nucleus, a membrane and a cellular machinery, the fungus reproduces itself.

SPREAD THE INFO, NOT THE VIRUS


[1] https://www.canada.ca/fr/sante-canada/services/medicaments-produits-sante/desinfectants/covid-19.html

[2] https://www.canada.ca/fr/sante-canada/services/medicaments-produits-sante/medicaments/demandes-presentations/lignes-directrices/desinfectants/exigences-matiere-innocuite-efficacite-relatives-desinfectants -assimilate-drugs-hard-surfaces.html # b5

Coronavirus: 7 myths

It’s very simple, all the subtitles of this post are false. Fortunately, we are helping you get the facts out about COVID-19 (coronavirus).

coronavirus

CODIV-19 CAN BE TRANSMITTED BY MOSQUITO BITES

FALSE

The new coronavirus is a respiratory virus that spreads mainly through contact with an infected person, through respiratory droplets emitted when a person, for example, coughs or sneezes, or through saliva or secretion droplets nasal passages. To date, there is no information or evidence suggesting that 2019-nCov could be transmitted by mosquitoes. To protect yourself, avoid close contact with someone who has a fever or cough, and practice good hand and respiratory hygiene.

COLD WEATHER AND SNOW CAN KILL NEW CORONAVIRUS

FALSE

The normal temperature of the human body remains around 36.5°C and 37°C, regardless of the outside temperature or weather. Therefore, there is no reason to believe that cold weather can kill the new coronavirus or other pathogens. The most effective way to protect yourself from 2019-nCoV is to wash your hands frequently with an alcohol-based product or with soap and water.

THE NEW CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) CAN PROJECT UP TO 8 METERS FROM A PERSON WHO IS TUSTING OR SNEAKING

FALSE

Respiratory droplets project up to 1 meter from a person who coughs or sneezes.

When a person infected with COVID-19 coughs or sneezes, the virus is expelled into droplets that can travel a certain distance from that person. Therefore, to protect yourself from any respiratory virus, avoid close contact with someone who has a fever or cough, and wash your hands frequently with hydro alcohol or soap and water.

HAND DRYERS ARE EFFECTIVE IN KILLING COVID-19

FALSE

Hand dryers are not effective in killing COVID-19. To protect yourself from the new coronavirus, you should frequently wash your hands with a water-based product or with soap and water. Once your hands are clean, you should dry them thoroughly with paper towels or a hot air dryer.

CAN EAT GARLIC HELP PREVENT NEW CORONAVIRUS INFECTION?

FALSE

On one positive side, it may drive colleagues away. Garlic is a healthy food that may have certain antimicrobial properties. However, there is no evidence in the current epidemic that consuming garlic protects people from the new coronavirus.

DOMESTIC ANIMALS CAN SPREAD THE NEW CORONAVIRUS

FALSE

There is currently no evidence that pets / pets such as dogs or cats can be infected with the new coronavirus. However, it is always a good idea to wash your hands with soap and water after contact with pets. This protects you from various common bacteria such as E. coli and Salmonella that can pass from pets to humans.

ANTIBIOTICS ARE EFFECTIVE IN PREVENTING AND TREATING NEW CORONAVIRUS INFECTION

FALSE

Antibiotics do not work against viruses, but only against bacteria.

The new coronavirus (COVID-19) is a virus and, therefore, antibiotics should not be used as a means of prevention or treatment.

However, if you are hospitalized for COVID-19 infection, you may be given antibiotics because bacterial co-infection is possible.

This is not a title

Take my COVID-19 online training course now (in french)

Sources:
https://www.who.int/fr/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public/myth-busters

COVID-19 and the preventive measures.

2019-nCoV is making the headlines these days. What is the 2019-nCoV and what are the preventive measures? Up to now, we don’t fully understand the pathogenic potential and transmission dynamics of this new 2019 coronavirus.

Young woman with respiratory mask

What is it?

In a nutshell, it is part of the coronavirus family. It presents “80% of similarities” with the SARS (Severe acute respiratory syndrome) which killed hundreds of people in 2003. This virus does not spread as well as influenza and doesn’t evolve very quickly. The symptoms are the same as most flu cases: fever, cough, muscle aches, shortness of breath and difficulty breathing.

Last December, the coronavirus appeared in Wuhan, a city in central China. The cities of Wuhan and Huanggang have been quarantined. So far, it has killed 490 people in China and thousands of people have been infected. The virus has also been detected in 23 other countries. In order to limit its spread, measures are being taken in several countries. The WHO (World Health Organization) has declared this virus as an international emergency.

Yellow Crane Tower in Wuhan

What are the preventive measures?

Brief, here are some preventive measures for 2019-nCoV. As suggested by the WHO, the following are strategies for health care-associated infection prevention and control when a case of nCoV is suspected:

  1. Early detection and source control
    – Encouraging health care workers and managers to have a high level of clinical suspicion
  2. Application of standard precautions for all patients
    – Ensure that respiratory hygiene measures are taken by providing a medical mask in case of suspected nCoV infection for those who can tolerate it
    – Cover your nose and mouth by coughing or sneezing into a tissue or bent elbow
    Wash hands after contact with respiratory secretions
    – Wear personal protective equipment
    – Follow environmental cleaning and disinfection procedures consistently and correctly
  3. The implementation of empirical additional precautions
    – Wear a particulate respirator at least as protective as a NIOSH N95, EU FFP2 certified respirator or equivalent
    – Wear eye protection (goggles or face shield)
    – Use clean, non-sterile long-sleeved coveralls
    – Wear gloves and avoid contact with eyes, nose or mouth with potentially contaminated hands
    – Use disposable equipment or dedicated equipment to be disinfected after each use
  4. Administrative controls
    – Ensure sustainable infection prevention and control infrastructure and activities are in place
    – Provide training and education to health care workers and patients
  5. Environmental and technical controls
    – Ensure adequate ventilation and proper cleaning of the environment

So, do not hesitate to contact us for your needs and questions about our products or hygiene training.

For more details on 2019-nCoV, see the following sources:
https://ici.radio-canada.ca/nouvelle/1482141/coronavirus-chine-questions-reponses
https://ici.radio-canada.ca/nouvelle/1486752/coronavirus-chine-villes-quarantaine-transports
https://ici.radio-canada.ca/nouvelle/1482961/coronavirus-virus-chine-asie
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/lab-biosafety-guidelines.html
https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/situation-reports/20200203-sitrep-14-ncov.pdf

The digitization of healthcare

Source: Wikimedia Commons

In recent years, we have begun to see a new healthcare trend emerge: the digitization of healthcare and the creation of telemedicine. As we have already seen on this blog, many patients are beginning to once again turn to receiving healthcare in their homes. This is especially due to the introduction of telemedicine, which allows patients to seek medical diagnoses and treatments without having to go to clinics.

So what exactly does the digitization of healthcare and telemedicine mean? MedicineNet defines telemedicine as:

The use of medical information exchanged from one site to another via electronic communications for the health and education of the patient or healthcare provider and for the purpose of improving patient care. Telemedicine includes consultative, diagnostic, and treatment services.

(MedicineNet, 2018).

What are the benefits associated of digitizing healthcare?

There are many benefits that the digitization of healthcare will allow.

  1. Decreased risks of hospital-acquired infections. One of the frequently covered topics on this blog are HAIs. If less people are visiting hospitals, and instead using telemedicine to get diagnosed and treated from home, there will be a reduction in the number of people getting HAIs.
  2. Improved patient experiences. With the use of telemedicine, patients won’t have to spend time making appointments, travelling to hospitals or waiting to be seen by doctors. They simply will need to go online to consult a doctor, and can receive treatments and prescriptions within minutes.
  3. Improved access to healthcare. As previously discussed on our post, Are Hospitals Disappearing?, many patients living in rural areas have to travel far to access healthcare. Telemedicine will allow people to be diagnosed and treated from almost anywhere in the world.
  4. Reduced costs for patients. Patients will pay much less to consult doctors online than at a clinic. The PBS News video on telemedicine (see below) tells us that a consultation online costs only $40, compared to $100-300 at an actual hospital (in the United States).

What are the risks?

It’s important to note that while there may be many benefits to digitizing healthcare, there are still some risks that need to be taken into consideration.

  1. One of the frequent concerns about telemedicine is that technology will replace doctors. While the digitization of healthcare will definitely have an impact on the way that doctors and patients interact with one another, doctors will always be necessary. First, they will still be needed to give the patient diagnosis and prescription, whether it be through video calls or in person. Second, doctors will also still be needed for more complex treatments and procedures.
  2. Another major concern is related to patient data security. We all know that there are already various privacy and security issues with posting your information online, so it understandable then that there would be concerns related to patient medical history being hacked or frauded.
  3. Finally, there is a concern of faulty diagnoses. Since doctors will not be able to physically examine patients and will be relying on webcams and phone cameras to see patients’ symptoms, many people have expressed concern that doctors may not be able to diagnose the problem properly.

The future of digitizing healthcare

We are living in a very interesting time for healthcare facilities. Many companies, such as Doctor on Demand, have already joined this healthcare “revolution.” Insurance companies have already begun partnering with telemedicine companies to cover internet consultations for their clients. There are many changes happening and many changes still needed to be made. It will be interesting to see what influences the digitization of healthcare will have on the future of the health industry.

For more information, see the video below:

Sources:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j5MZP6dbhFI

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cM4aep7VXb8

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u1-MFo7_n-Y

https://www.healthcaretechoutlook.com/news/the-problems-and-solutions-to-digitizing-healthcare-nid-652.html

The 12 Days of Christmas… Cleaning Edition!

Christmas is right around the corner and who isn’t excited? I mean, who doesn’t like relaxing, going to parties, eating A LOT of food and getting to sleep in?

But, as great as Christmas celebrations and parties are, they are usually synonymous with mess. Nobody likes the big clean up after Christmas holidays, and yet most people leave it to the last minute. Have no fear though, we are here to rescue you with a simple, 12 days of Christmas cleaning plan so that you can do a little bit of cleaning every day instead of at the end your vacation.

So without further-ado, let’s jump right into your 12 day cleaning plan!

12 Days of Christmas Cleaning Plan

Day 1)
Start with the kitchen, more specifically any dishes that have been lying around in your kitchen for a while. Chances are, your kitchen will see a lot of action over the holidays, since food will be prepared and served in this room. Tidy up any dishes that you have been trying to avoid, and put them away once cleaned.

Day 2)
Back in the kitchen for day 2! Today the focus will be on wiping all the counter tops and the stove and cleaning the kitchen table. Whether you have wine stains or cookie dough stuck on your counters, this day will make sure that your whole kitchen has been cleaned!

Day 3)
You know when all those messy boots cover the floor at the front entrance of your house, and they drip snow and slush all over? Day 3 is reserved for you to clean that mess up! Depending on the type of floors in your house, you can either mop, wipe or vacuum.

Day 4)
Day 4 is reserved for cleaning up any wrapping paper, gift bags or packaging that was left around your house. Depending on the condition of the wrapping, you can either throw it away or store used bags and leftover wrapping paper somewhere for next year.

Day 5)
Clean the dining room. While the food was prepared and served in the kitchen, the eating probably took place in your dining room. If that was the case, Day 5 is to clean up your dining room. Wipe up any food or crumbs that may be on the table and mop or vacuum the floor.

Day 6)
Tackle the bathrooms, or at least the bathroom that was the most used by your guests. Nobody likes to clean bathrooms, but it needs to be done, and even more so after the holidays when they have been used by many different people. Make sure that you sanitize the countertops and sinks, clean the toilets and mop the floor. And, as we have already seen on this blog, avoid cross-contamination by using different wipes and equipment for different parts of the bathrooms.

Day 7)
Take this day to catch up on your laundry. You’ve attended a lot of parties and, therefore, probably wore a lot of clothes, so now it’s time to catch up on cleaning them! Also, don’t forget about washing linens, like sheets and pillow cases, especially if you had guests using your guest bedrooms.

Day 8)
Up next is the living room. Whether you watched Holiday movies with your family or spent lazy days on the couch with your kids, chances are you spent a lot of time in your living room relaxing over the holidays. Now it’s time to pick up those popcorn crumbs and place those pillows!

Day 9)
Clean your master bedroom. You’ve already done the linens and pillow cases on laundry day, so this step should be relatively easy. Pick up any trash lying on the ground, dust the wardrobes and night tables and try to store things away like clothes and books.

Day 10)
If you have other bedrooms, Day 10 is to clean all the other rooms in your house. Same thing as for the master bedroom, you’ve already done the linens, so all you have to do is clean the rest of the room!

Day 11)
It’s almost time to go back to work and most of the parties are over now. Check your fridge and see what leftover party food you can throw away. Wash any containers that were used, so that your sink doesn’t get cluttered!

Day 12)
Put away your Christmas tree and decorations. Probably the saddest day out of our 12 day cleaning plan, because putting away the Christmas tree means that the holidays are officially over! But the earlier you put it away just means that you won’t have to do it in January once you’re back in the routine of work and school. Also, don’t forget to sweep up underneath where the tree was after everything is out of the way.

So there you have it, cleaning up after the holidays made simple! And if you think you’re missing any products that will be necessary for your holiday cleaning, we’re here for you! Feel free to consult our website and check out our product offerings:

http://www.lalema.com/index_en

How to prepare for flu season

Source: Pixabay

It’s that dreaded time of year again: winter, a.k.a flu season. Each year, 10-25% of Canadians get the flu (Cascades Pro, 2019), and although a common occurrence during the winter time, if not treated properly, some flu cases can lead to severe consequences, such as hospitalization. The Canadian government’s public health page estimates that each year cases of influenza cause about 12,200 hospitalizations and 3,500 deaths.

Cascades PRO (2019) suggests the following to avoid getting the flu this season

  • Get vaccinated! According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), getting vaccinated is the best way to avoid getting the flu, especially for people with weakened immune systems.
  • Wash your hands. It seems like basic knowledge that washing your hands will help you avoid getting sick, however many people either don’t know how to wash their hands properly or don’t take the time to do it. Take the time to look at proper hand-washing instruction posters, which are often posted in public restrooms, and follow those instructions in order to avoid the flu!
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces. Wherever you work, every surface (desks, chairs, etc.) has the potential of being contaminated, especially high-contact surfaces. Make sure to clean them often, using disinfectant materials such as wipes, rags, etc.
  • Stay home if you have the flu. If you contract influenza, you should stay home, as you don’t want to put others at risk. Take care of yourself and get some rest!

Last year’s flu season saw a higher-than-usual number of influenza cases in Canada and that same trend is predicted for this year’s season. Keep these tips in mind and take care of yourself this flu season!

Sources:

https://www.pro.cascades.com/fr/nouvelle/quatre-conseils-pour-combattre-la-grippe-cet-hiver?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_content=2019_FR&utm_campaign=RB_January&oft_id=863729&oft_k=QDm96mJG&oft_lk=wvwso7&oft_d=636834086957300000

https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/flu-influenza/health-professionals.html

Global Handwashing Day

Global handwashing day

In honour of today being Handwashing Day, this post will be dedicated to providing information about The Global Handwashing Partnership, founder of the day, as well as handwashing techniques.

The Global Handwashing Partnership is an organization dedicated to developing and sharing knowledge about handwashing, in order to strengthen the hygiene enabling environment around the world. Established in 2001, it has since then partnered with governments, corporations and NGOs all over the world to attain their mission. Handwashing Day, which takes place yearly on October 15, is one of their main initiatives.

As described on their website, Handwashing Day is,

“a global advocacy day dedicated to increasing awareness and understanding about the importance of handwashing with soap as an effective and affordable way to prevent diseases and save lives. Handwashing Day is an opportunity to design, test, and replicate creative ways to encourage people to wash their hands with soap at critical times.”

Global Handwashing Website

On this blog, we have already seen many times how crucial hand hygiene is to the prevention of the spread of harmful bacteria and infection. The Global Handwashing Partnership treats handwashing as having the same importance of a vaccine; necessary to prevent infection and disease.

Below is a video on proper handwashing steps using the World Health Organization (WHO)’s technique.

One of the integral parts of having good hand hygiene is having good hand soap. Feel free to consult our website and check out our wide variety of hand soaps, including antibacterial hand soaps.

http://www.lalema.com/search?q=hand+soap

Sources:

https://globalhandwashing.org/

The Prevention of Waterborne Hospital-Acquired Infections

Source: Flickr

On this blog, we have already learned that healthcare-associated infections can be spread through the water and plumbing systems of hospitals. There are many possible reservoirs for the growth and spread of harmful pathogens; including potable water, sinks, faucets, showers, bathtubs, toilets, etc. It is therefore crucial that healthcare facilities develop water-management programs, in order to reduce the risk of infection.

In a recent article from Infection Control Today 2019, it is stated that:

“facilities must develop and adhere to policies and procedures that inhibit microbial growth in building water systems that reduce the risk of growth and the spread of Legionella and other opportunistic pathogens in water.”

Kelly M. Pyrek, Infection Control Today, 2019

Infection Control Today (2019) discusses many different policies that should be adopted by healthcare facilities.

In terms of potable tap water and hospital water systems, recommendations include:

  • Hot water temperatures at the outlet should be at the highest temperature allowable, preferably >51C.
  • In the case of water disruptions, signs should be posted and the drinking of tap water should be prohibited.
  • Standards for potable water must be maintained (<1 coliform bacterium/100 mL).
  • Equipment should be rinsed first with either sterile water, filtered water or tap water and an alcohol rinse should follow.
  • Periodic monitoring of water samples should be done in order to test for Legionella growth.

In terms of sinks in hospitals, recommendations include:

  • The use of separate sinks for handwashing and disposal of contaminated fluids.
  • The decontamination or elimination of sinks if epidemic spread of gram-negative bacteria via sinks is suspected.

In terms of showers in hospitals, recommendations include:

  • Prohibit the use of showers in neutropenic patients.
  • Control Legionella colonization of potable water.

The article discusses many more recommendations for other water-related reservoirs that are potential sources of infection. For more information on these other reservoirs, please refer to Infection Control Today’s website.

In addition to this, it is recommended by Tim Keane, a consultant with Philadelphia-based Legionella Risk Management Inc, that healthcare facilities hire engineers that are “building water system expert(s) who specialize in risk management for building water systems” (Infection Control, 2019). This will provide healthcare facilities with the expertise needed to develop a concise water-management program.

Preventing the spread of infection is no easy task, especially when there are constantly new sources of HAIs in healthcare facilities. That being said, with the help of very specific programs and procedures, such as the recommendations described above, it is possible to reduce the risk of infection and the spread of bacteria.

Source:

Infection Control Today. Vol. 23. No. 3. March 2019.

Prevention: The New Focus in Healthcare

Source: FreeStockPhotos

Hospital-acquired infections and drug-resistant superbugs are some of the biggest concerns in healthcare right now. In fact, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that by 2050, more people will die from antibiotic-resistant bacteria than from cancer (2016). Furthermore, many of the diseases that cause people to be in the hospital in the first place, are preventable, such as heart disease and diabetes. This means that people are needlessly going to hospitals and subsequently risk being exposed to harmful infections. This is one of the reasons why a main priority right now in healthcare is shifting towards prevention and keeping people out of hospitals in the first place.

According to Nancy Brown, from the American Heart Association, “many of the things that bring people to the hospital can be prevented” (2019). In fact, during the World Economic Forum on the Future of Hospitals, which featured Brown as a speaker, it was discussed how 80% of health does not happen at the hospital, but rather, it happens at home, where individuals should consciously be making better decisions to be healthier.

Education about health should be a key priority for governments, hospitals and medical professionals, as it will reduce healthcare costs, prevent risks and occurrences of serious illnesses, and just make people more healthy in general. Brown stated that the way to doing this is to change people’s behaviours, either by inspiration, advocacy or even regulation. She also identified two key factors that are critical in influencing people’s unhealthy habits: environment and lifestyle. To quote her again,

“If you don’t have access to fresh foods, and the only thing you can have is processed and packaged food which is high in sodium and high in added sugar, why are we surprised that there’s an epidemic of obesity and type 2 diabetes?”

Nancy Brown, American Heart Association, 2019

Brown provides very interesting information about prevention, which is becoming more and more important in healthcare. According to Regina Benjamin, MD, it is crucial that disease prevention be intertwined into every aspect of our every day lives.

Benjamin lists 4 keys areas to improve in order to better prevent diseases:

  • Healthy and safe community environments
  • Clinical and community preventive services
  • Empowered people
  • Elimination of health disparities

People have the ability to prevent many diseases. With a good education about health, people can become more knowledgeable about how to take care of themselves and what diseases they are more prone to. This will lead to fewer hospitalizations and healthier people with a better quality of life. That is why this trend in healthcare is so important and it is great thing to move towards.

To watch the World Economic Forum discussion of The Future of Hospitals, see the video below:

Sources:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j5MZP6dbhFI&t=1064s

https://drkevincampbellmd.wordpress.com/2017/02/13/changing-the-focus-of-healthcare-from-treatment-to-prevention/

http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=54928#.WnikApM-cWo

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3185312/