Towards a universal flu vaccine

Influenza is a stubborn virus. Moreover, every year, the virus is changing and it’s another race against time to produce a new vaccine, often composed of several strains, which will be able to protect the most vulnerable population such as young children, the elderly and sick people.

inlfuenza

AN ENCOURAGING RESEARCH on INFLUENZA

According to the article by Radio-Canada:

At Laval University, Gary Kobinger’s team is testing a new influenza vaccine, which could provide better protection and long-term immunization. The formula incorporates much of the circulating influenza strains over the last 20 years.

A first clinical trial to test the safety of the vaccine ended a few months ago. According to the researchers, it shows that the product does not cause significant side effects.

The effectiveness of vaccines against influenza (the flu) is also limited especially when we guess wrong the strain that will be the most virulent that year!

THE IMPORTANCE OF HAND WASH

We are all at one point exposed to the flu virus. A good way of individual prevention is to put on your hat on and tie your coat. I am joking. On the other hand, regular hand washing before meals, after the toilet and even just when arriving at work or at home is really an effective way against the spread of the virus.

Regular hand soaps like Utopia or antibacterial soap like Utopia AB do the trick.

Did you know that our soaps do not contain any: methyisothiazolinone?

THE IMPORTANCE OF SURFACE DISINFECTION

Cleaning worker also plays a very important role in the winter period when it comes to disinfecting surfaces. Specialty products such as the Ali-Flex line of product offers many benefits:

 

DOWNLOAD MY FREE TRAINING ON INFLUENZA EPIDEMICS

I can give it in person at your workplace. Contact me glanthier@lalema.com

Source: http://ici.radio-canada.ca/nouvelle/1065664/vaccin-universel-grippe-influenza-guerir-personnes-agees-annee-h1n1-une-fois

Would we be ready to face an epidemic of bubonic plague?

Would we be ready to face an epidemic of bubonic plague?

In Madagascar, the government has recently imposed two days ago new emergency measures to stop a plague epidemic. It has been declared 24 dead since 1 month1.

black_death

What is the bubonic plague?

The plague is a bacterium Yersinia pestis, present in rodents as rats are often passed to humans by infected fleas.

According to Health Canada:

The incubation period of the plague varies from one to ten days.

Whatever the form, the illness always starts with flu-like symptoms (fever, chills, muscle aches, weakness and headaches) and can also cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain.

If left untreated, the mortality rate can reach 50%.

Bubonic plague smear demonstrating the presence of yersinia pest

SURFACES DISINFECTIONS

According to Health Canada2, in the event of a spill or contaminated surfaces:

Let the aerosols fall; wear protective clothing, carefully cover the spilled material with paper towels and apply 1% sodium hypochlorite from the periphery to the center; allow to act for a sufficient period (30 minutes) before cleaning

Plague is affected by many types of surface disinfectants such as:

MATERIAL SAFETY DATA SHEET: PATHOGENIC AGENTS, AND RISK ASSESSMENT

You are dealing with a bacterium, virus or other pathogen and you want to know more about it. Health Canada has launched an application and a website:

LAST CASE REPORTED IN CANADA

Cases of plague in humans are very rare in Canada; the last case was reported in 1939.

 

References:

1 http://www.lapresse.ca/international/afrique/201709/30/01-5138249-madagascar-durence-measures-to-tenter-delight-pidemic-epidemia.php

2 https://www.canada.ca/en/public_health/services/biosururity-biosurete-laboratory/technical-sheets-health-security-agents-pathogenes-risk-assessment/yers-in-the-health-technical-files -Security-ftss.html

How often should I clean this or that?

I develop maintenance program for my clients and the question that comes up most often is:
“How often should I clean this or that?”

clean

How often should I clean this?

Here is a non-exhaustive list of 16 surfaces to clean regularly at home.

Item Frequency Tips
1. Cellular phone

Daily Wipe with a microfiber glass cloth to remove any greasy substances and germs
2. Kitchen Counter

Daily Use a mild all purpose cleaner. When using a disinfectant cleaner, rinse the surface.
3. Dishwasher

Monthly Use specially designed capsules or a little bit of baking soda and vinegar and the trick is done.
4. Refrigerator

Quarterly To avoid the appearance of mold and other undesirable contents, empty and clean the shelves and containers.
5. Kitchen floor

Weekly Use a broom after each meal and a good damp mopping every week.
6. Carpets

Weekly Vacuuming carpets every week will even reduce allergies. Remove the dog and the baby before to do so!
7. Furniture

Monthly Vacuum furniture and fabrics every month and steam clean annually
8. Remote control or joystick

Weekly Remove the batteries, clean the remote control surface by rubbing the buttons and gaps.
9. Ceiling fans

Quarterly With an all purpose cleaner, wipe the blades. Do not forget to turn off the fan!
10. Window blinds

Quarterly Dust and clean batten by batten with soapy water and a soft cloth.
11. Toilet

Daily Brush daily and thoroughly clean once a week.
12. Towels

After some use After the shower or the bath, hang to dry and use a few times (3 or 4 times), then machine wash. Note: If you have teenagers, this thing may not work!
13. Shower curtain

Monthly Spray a bathroom cleaner to remove residual accumulated soaps and limescale.
14. Bed linen

Weekly Wash in warm water to remove bacteria and mites. Avoid eating in your bed!
15. Mattress

Biannual Vacuum the mattress twice a year to remove dead skin cells and mites.
16. Air filter

Monthly Changing air filters every month or as recommended by the manufacturer contributes to a healthy environment.

We have the tools to clean

At Lalema, we serve a large industrial and institutional clientele with an online catalog of more than 18000 products ! Come and have a look!

www.lalema.com

 

Source :

inspired from http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/ss/slideshow-how-often-clean-this.

Photos are owned by me or from various talended photographs via unsplash.com

How to reduce the phenomenon of antibiotic resistance?

As you know, improper and inappropriate use of antibiotics has resulted in bacteria developing resistance mechanisms. In general, we observe a decrease in the effectiveness of antibiotics in fighting multiresistant bacteria. In fact, the antibiotics that were developed between 1940 and 1980 generally had a very specific target, which facilitated the acquisition of resistance mechanisms by bacteria. In addition, the new antibiotics that are marketed are generally similar to existing antibiotics, making resistance acquisition even easier for bacteria. Thus, all the preceding facts suggest the importance of developing new antibiotics displaying novel mechanisms of action.

One of the alternatives is to develop antibiotics targeting the cell membrane of bacteria. Among others, we find the natural antimicrobial peptides that are a class of molecules participating in the immune response of several organisms such as bacteria, plants and mammals [1]. These peptides have the ability to form pores or to induce defects in the cell membrane, which will lead to a disturbance of the electrochemical gradient across the membrane, thus causing cell death (FIG. 1) .

antibiotic-resistance

Figure 1: Illustration of the main mechanisms of cationic antimicrobial peptides [3].

Inspired by these natural peptides, many researchers are attempting to develop synthetic antimicrobial peptides that will be both less toxic and pharmacologically viable. On the market, we find daptomycin (Cubicin®) which acts by a mechanism similar to natural antimicrobial peptides [4]. This antibiotic from the lipopeptide family is used for the treatment of infections involving methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). It is interesting to note that, like natural antimicrobial peptides, quaternary ammoniums, which are commonly used in disinfection operations, also destroy bacteria because of their membrane activity [5]. At Lalema, a wide range of quaternary ammonium-based disinfectants are available to meet your needs.

The ever-growing problem of antibiotic resistance is a major health issue and a heavy tax burden on governments. The use of an adequate antibiotic management system, the advent of new technology and better control of the transmission of pathogens (disinfection) are essential tools to reverse the current trend.

 

References

[1] Jenssen, H., Hamill, P., and Hancock, R.E. W. 2006 Clin. Microbiol. Rev. 19, 491-511.

[2] Zasloff, M. 2002 Nature, 415, 390-395.

[3] Chan, D. I., Prenner, E. J., and Vogel, H. J. 2006 Biochim. Biophys. Acta. 1758, 1184-1202.

[4] Taylor, S. D., and Palmer, M. 2016 Bioorg. Med. Chem., 24, 6253-6268.

[5] Ioannou, C.J., Hanlon, G. W., and Denyer, S. P. 2007 Antimicrob. Chemother Agents, 51, 296-306.

The complete guide to hospital cleaning

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.

Infective Risk Analysis

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 Cleaning Staff: key to success

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!

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!

Want to know more?

Look this free webinar from my collegue Remi:

Need help?

Don’t hesitate to call 514.645.2753 or subscribe to one of our training seminars. I really hope that you liked this post!

An enzyme to destroy biofilms

One can not stop the progress. The discovery of an enzyme capable of preventing the production of a biofilm, this polymeric protective layer produced by bacteria that prevents antibiotics and surface disinfectants from functioning well, could ultimately revolutionize the fight against nosocomial infections.

perturbation-biofilm

The team at the McGill University Health Center, which includes Dr. Donald C. Sheppard, has published a study in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). Their hope is that this technology will be the subject of human clinical trials in Canada within 5 years and be used in hospitals within 10 years.

From the abstract:

We demonstrate that glycoside hydrolases derived from the opportunistic fungus Aspergillus fumigatus and Gram-negative bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa can be exploited to disrupt preformed fungal biofilms and reduce virulence.

What is a biofilm?

My colleague Rémi Charlebois described biofilms as follows:

Biofilms found on surfaces are often derived from a complex colony of microorganisms producing polymers that allow them to adhere better to the surface and facilitate colony life. In short, a biofilm is like a city for microbes. Man has learned to tame these biofilms and can use them to treat wastewater or produce certain molecules such as natural plastics. However, the presence of unwanted biofilms could be harmful and can lead to infections.

Biofilms are also found on the skin and medical devices. Thus, according to the article of Le Devoir:

Biofilms, a highly sticky matrix of proteins and sugar polymers made by bacteria to protect themselves, are attached to the skin, mucous membranes or the surface of biomedical materials, including catheters, tubing, heart valves and other prostheses Which become preferred entry points for infection.

In the same article, Dr. Sheppard quotes:

Biofilms are produced by molecules that defend against our immune system or against antibiotics with this shell that is 1000 times more resistant than the organisms that produce and proliferate in these biofilms.

An enzyme that acts as a “destructive machine” for biofilms

In short, the enzyme discovered was modified to destroy the biofilms instead of forming them. This is a new strategy that can reduce nosocomial infections in healthcare centers.

And the other surfaces?

Although there is not really any mention of the surfaces, maybe future generations of biofilm disrupters will be based on this enzyme? Meanwhile, there are solutions like Ultra-Blast Technology that:

Disrupts biofilms for ease of removal
Prevents the growth of new biofilms
Is not corrosive on surfaces

Watch this video about biofilms (25 minutes, french)

Sources:

http://www.ledevoir.com/societe/sante/501939/des-chercheurs-percent-le-secret-de-la-resistance-de-certaines-bacteries

http://www.lapresse.ca/sciences/medecine/201706/27/01-5111114-avancee-majeure-contre-les-infections-dans-les-hopitaux.php

What about Surface Disinfection against Poliovirus

Recently, my friend Rémi wrote on Twitter: “Why is it so long to get rid of Polio in the world? “, Did you know that there are barely 30 cases per year in the world! Only 3 countries in the world still have Polio cases. One of these 3 countries, Nigeria is on track to succeed with no cases reported since 1 year.

Credit CNN

Should we worry about the anti-vaccine movement?

In the report on CNN twitted by Rémi, the specialist mentions that the number of children not vaccinated in the United States is growing continuously. Will we have to wait for another epidemic?

Surface disinfection against poliovirus type 1

According to Health Canada, in its guideline – Safety and Efficacy Requirements for Disinfectants Assimilated to Hard Surface Drugs, a broad spectrum virus is defined as:

Broad-Spectrum Virucide: A disinfectant that is shown to be effective against a representative, envelope-free and hard-to-kill virus, which is also intended to inactivate other enveloped and envelope-free viruses (ie a product of which A “broad spectrum virucide” efficacy has been demonstrated).

Also according to Health Canada:

The incidence of poliomyelitis in Canada declined following the creation of vaccination programs in the 1950s. The last indigenous case of wild poliovirus infection in Canada dates back to 1977. In 1994, the World Health Organization Officially declared Canada free from wild poliovirus. The cases of paralytic poliomyelitis that have occurred in Canada since then have been associated with imported cases of wild poliovirus infection and the use of OPV.

According to the MSSS, in its guide “Disinfectants and disinfection in hygiene and sanitation: fundamental principles”

Among the viruses are those that are enveloped by a lipid layer and those that are not. These are called naked viruses. Paradoxically, this lipid-rich envelope is easily altered by chemicals, making wrapped viruses vulnerable. In contrast, naked viruses are “accustomed” to coping with outdoor conditions and are more resistant to disinfectants. Generally, if a disinfectant is active against naked viruses, such as polio, it is likely to be active against enveloped viruses, such as AIDS (HIV).

Quaternary or sodium hypochlorite disinfectants

Quaternary or sodium hypochlorite disinfectants with the “broad-spectrum virucidal” claim are effective against naked viruses such as polio.

Good Practices in Waste Management

Waste management can be a real headache especially if you work in a hospital or university! In Quebec, the legal and regulatory framework has evolved for more than 50 years and in 2017, several municipal, provincial and federal laws and regulations are in force. Let’s see how we can classify and demystify the different types of waste.

Waste Management

Credit photo Joseph Barrientos via unsplash

Good practices in waste management

To properly manage waste, it is imperative on one hand to be well aware of the characterization of your waste and on the other hand to know the regulations that apply to your situation.

Safe Handling

The safe handling of waste, whether at the time of its production, handling, storage or disposal, must be accomplished with appropriate protective measures for your own safety, safety of of others and protection of the environment.

Communication

Each department must also be informed of the way in which they dispose of the waste they produce in a safely manner. That’s why a good communication plan is also important!

Reduction at source

Take action by initiating gradual changes in how you manage your residual materials on the basis of the 3RV-E principle that promotes source reduction, reuse, recycling and valorise until residual materials must be eliminated.

  • Reducing at source is the fundamental principle of management to decrease the quantity of goods consumed, which necessarily decreases the amount of natural resources consumed.
  • Reuse is to give a second life to objects and use what others do not need anymore.
  • Recycling is the process of converting a residual material into a raw material for the manufacture of a new product
  • Valorisation is to give a second life to the products but in different ways, usually this is done by the biological way for example compost or energy like biofuels
  • Elimination when all efforts have been made in the 3RV and waste is finally disposed of.

Classification of waste by category

In industrial and institutional environments, waste is generally grouped into 7 categories:

  • General Waste
    • Non-recyclable waste with no reuse or recovery potential
  • Biomedical waste
    • Human anatomical waste
    • Animal anatomical wastes
    • Non-anatomical waste
      • Piercing, sharp or breakable objects that have been in contact with blood
      • A liquid or a biological tissue
      • Biological tissues, cell cultures, cultures of micro-organisms;
      • Live strain vaccines;
      • Containers of blood and blood-soaked equipment, etc.
  • Pharmaceutical waste
    • Hazardous pharmaceutical waste
      • Drug residues
      • Toxic expired drugs
      • Cytotoxic drugs
    • Non-hazardous pharmaceutical waste
      • Other drug residues
      • Non-hazardous expired drugs
  • Chemical waste
    • Chemicals from laboratories
      • Laboratory reagents
      • Laboratory solvents
    • Pressurized containers
  • Radioactive waste
    • Residues containing radioactive isotopes above standard
    • Syringes, reactors, lead cylinders (nuclear medicine)
  • Electronic waste (or with heavy metals)
    • Hardware
      • Computers
      • Screens
    • Cell phones
    • Battery
    • Articles containing mercury
      • Thermometers
      • Fluorescent or compact fluorescent bulbs
  • Recyclable waste
    • Paper
    • Cardboard
    • Plastic
    • Glass
    • Metal
    • Food and compostable residues
    • Organic waste
    • Construction debris
      • Brick
      • Concrete
      • Unpainted gypsum board
      • Metal
      • Wood

Legislative and regulatory framework for waste management in Quebec

  • Loi sur la qualité de l’environnement (chapitre Q-2)
  • Règlement sur l’enfouissement et l’incinération des matières résiduelles (c. Q-2, r. 19)
  • Règlement sur la santé et la sécurité du travail (chapitre S-2.1,r. 13)
  • Code de sécurité pour les travaux de construction (chapitre S-2.1,r. 4)
  • Règlement sur les déchets biomédicaux (c. Q-2, r. 12)
  • Code de la sécurité routière (chapitre C-24.2)
  • Règlement sur le transport des matières dangereuses (c. C-24.2, r. 43)
  • Règlement sur les matières dangereuses (c. Q-2, r. 32)
  • Règlement sur la récupération et la valorisation de produits par les entreprises (c. Q-2, r. 40.1)
  • Code de sécurité pour les travaux de construction – amiante (chapitre S-2.1, r. 4)
  • Loi sur la sûreté et la réglementation nucléaires (L.C. 1997, ch. 9)
  • Règlement général sur la sûreté et la réglementation nucléaires (DORS/2000-202)
  • Règlement sur la radioprotection (DORS/2000-203)
  • Règlement sur l’emballage et le transport des substances nucléaires (DORS/2000-208)
  • Règlement sur les substances nucléaires et les appareils à rayonnement (DORS/2000-207)

Learning, Understanding, Implementing, Enhancing

Have you enjoyed this post and would like to learn about this topic or about hygiene and sanitation in general? Great! Why not check out our training and consulting catalog now?

Source: Guide de gestion des déchets du réseau de la santé et des services sociaux

Inside an anthill near you

Several tasks accomplished by ants are similar to those of human professions such as farmer or breeder. Swiss researchers recently added a surprising task to this list: chemist!

david-higgins-10165-fourmi-1024x683

Credit David Higgins, Unsplash

Community life

We all know that anthills are full of ants. A population of a colony can easily reach several millions. Although they may be insects, food supply, waste management and infection control are, believe it or not, a major concern for the queen of an anthill.

The chemist ant

By mixing coniferous resin with formic acid (a venom secreted by ants to combat their enemies), the mixture doubles the antifungal efficacy of the resin alone. These ants are capable of improving the resistance of the colony to pathogens. This is the first time that we have observed, apart from humans, a species mixing different compounds in order to improve their effects.

Hard surface Disinfection in the human world

At Lalema, conifer resin and formic acid are not used to make our disinfectants. On the other hand, our formulas are developed and validated by real chemists in addition to being registered with the appropriate governmental bodies.

Our exclusive Certiklör technology allows our sodium hypochlorite products such as Ali-Flex RTU to have the following advantages over the competitor’s products :

  • Hypochlorite stabilized in solution (vs. Bleach)
  • Low odor (vs. Bleach at the same concentration)
  • Low corrosive potential (vs. Bleach at the same concentration)

Discover our Certiklör product line now or call our customer service at 514.645.2753 for more information.

Source: http://ici.radio-canada.ca/news/1024037/fourmis-chimie-infection-bacterie-antibiotique-etude

Thanks to my cousin Thierry L-D for finding the article about the ants!

How to make cleaning safer in 7 steps

According to ASSTSAS, falls and slips account for 18% of workers’ compensation costs in the province of Quebec. This is the third leading cause of workplace accidents in the health and social services sector and it includes all types of jobs.

Causes of workplace accidents

There are many other causes of workplace related accidents :

  • Fall and slide accidents
  • Muscle problems related to lift and flexion
  • Eye and skin lesions, often related to the handling of chemicals
  • Respiratory problems, often the result of working with chemicals and equipment
  • Accidental exposure to electrical hazards or biological hazards

Seven ways to make cleaning work safer

  1. Ensure periodic review of working methods and procedures
  2. Identify and evaluate “at risk” situations including load lifting, repetitive movements, exposure to chemicals, air quality, work organization
  3. Determine tasks requiring personal protective equipment such as gloves, goggles, masks, protective sleeves, etc.
  4. Wear non-slip shoes when stripping or laying floor finish
  5. Install “wet floor” safety panels when washing floors. Remove the panels when the floors are dry.
  6. Inspect the electrical wiring of your equipment regularly. Never pull the wire to disconnect a device.
  7. Consider the presence of any body fluid or blood as a real biological hazard and clean up only if you have received the proper training.

Sources:

https://asstsas.qc.ca/sites/default/files/publications/documents/Fiches/FT13_chutes_WEB.pdf

http://www.cleanlink.com/news/article/Seven-Ways-To-Make-Cleaning-Work-Safer–20393 (via Kim B., thanks!)

Free Webinar: Fighting Healthcare Associated Infection with Environmental Hygiene

Fighting Healthcare Associated Infection with Environmental Hygiene.


The main objective of this webinar is to review the basics of cleaning and disinfection:

  • The updated burden of HAI’s in Canada
  • Why do we disinfect
  • Best practices in cleaning and disinfection
  • Using the right product
  • Validation technique

This 40 minutes long webinar was originally broadcast on December 15th, 2016. Watch it now on replay for a limited time!

Invitation Free Webinar: Fighting Healthcare Associated Infection with Environmental Hygiene

webinar-topfree-webinar-left2

I would like to invite you to a free webinar on


Fighting Healthcare Associated Infection with Environmental Hygiene.


I will present this webinar on December 15th, 2016 at 12:00 PM EST. (45 minutes long)

The main objective of this webinar will be to review the basics of cleaning and disinfection :

  • The updated burden of HAI’s in Canada
  • Why do we disinfect
  • Best practices in cleaning and disinfection
  • Using the right product
  • Validation technique

Practical information:

  • The webinar will take place on Thursday, December 15th, 2016 at 12:00 PM EST (Toronto Time)
  • Make sure you have a computer accessible with an internet connection
  • The webinar is 100% free without any engagement
  • We will take question after the webinar

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Biofilms: What you should know.

Biofilms are everywhere

Well hidden or sometimes visible, always disgusting, biofilms, as so well described by my colleague Rémi Charlebois, are defined as follows:

Biofilm is an aggregation of microbial cells, surrounded by a protective layer of extracellular polymeric matrix, which attaches itself to any surface found in the hospital environment and becomes a source of contamination. Formation of complex, multicellular communities by microorganisms is a natural phenomenon which helps bacteria or fungi to survive environmental stress such as cleaning and disinfection.

Warning: Graphic Content Ahead

A Biofilm looks like this:

Kitchen Drain

biofilms-drain-cuisine

Source: http://www.biofilm.montana.edu/content/household-biofilms

Sink strainer

biofilm-bouchon-evier

Source: http://www.biofilm.montana.edu/content/household-biofilms

Showerhead

biofilm-pommeau-douche

Source: http://www.biofilm.montana.edu/content/household-biofilms

Toilet Bowl

biofilm-cuve-toilette

Source: http://www.biofilm.montana.edu/content/household-biofilms

How to remove biofilms

Here are 3 methods to eliminate biofilm:

Replace equipment

This mehode is somewhat drastic, probably very expensive certainly mostly impractical. Some industries still proceed that way in 2016. I must say that in some cases it may be the only and best solution. For example pipe sections, filters, etc.

Strong acids and bases

Hydrochloric or Peracetic acids or strong bases such as caustic are sometimes used alternatively. However, corrosivity and danger of these chemicals can damage surfaces, individual protection equipment, storage and handling can also be a challenge . Furthermore, there is always the workplace hazards.

Ultra-Blast Technology: Disruptive action on Biofilm exclusive to Lalema

Ultra-Blast Technology (TUB) is developed by Lalema. This technology, which is found in the Ultra-Blast but also in multiple Lalema products, has the unique characteristic of a biofilm disrupter. This is a major innovation in many areas of housekeeping and infection control.

Advantages of using a product with the Ultra-Blast Technology

  • Stir in even the cleaners every known use
  • Eliminate biofilm and calculus
  • Prevent the recurrence of biofilms
  • Significantly reduce the hazardous and corrosive.

See all our products with Ultra-Blast Technology in our catalog

 

certification_10

Safe hand soap: a primer

hand soapHandwashing is the single most important action to break down the transmission of infection. Anyone working in the food industry, in a lab or in healthcare environment will tell you how often they have to wash their hands. So many products are available, however, it is clear that not all product were created equal. Multiple claims are often written on the bottle confusing users and buyers. A lack of regulation is seen. However, recently the American FDA (Food and Drug Administration) and Health Canada seems to be going toward new regulation in order to increase the safety of hand soaps.

FDA bans Triclosan

The American FDA (Food and Drug Administration) banned the use of Triclosan and 18 other chemicals in consumer hand soap. The decision was based on the lack of information regarding the effectiveness of this product compare to regular handwashing. Also, serious doubt concerning the safety of this product was crucial in the decision process. The debate has been going on for a while before the decision was made.

Health Canada identified risk regarding Methylisothiazolinone

According to Health Canada, the repeated exposure to this substance and its derivatives can generate multiple symptoms including:

  • a red rash or bumps;
  • itching;
  • swelling, burning, or tenderness of the skin;
  • dry, cracked or scaly skin;
  • blisters.

These symptoms may occur each time someone uses a product containing Methylisothiazolinone and its derivatives and may become more severe with repeated use.

Multiple solutions exist

Hopefully, many suppliers offer products without triclosan, paraben, methylisothiazolinone, benzalkonium chloride, polyacrylamide, dioxane, nonylphenol ethoxylated alcohol or any chemicals of concern. Ask you supplier what are the options regarding safe hand soap, it might save you a lot of trouble.

 

Reference:

http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm378393.htm

http://canadiensensante.gc.ca/recall-alert-rappel-avis/hc-sc/2016/58290a-fra.php

6 reasons why staff should be more involved

staff

When selecting or standardizing cleaning products, the involvement and participation of your staff  is essential. It is important to set up a participatory structure (mandatory user committee) for the acquisition of products and equipment. This would not only lead to a greater accountability from the users, but it will also bring a higher degree of satisfaction.

This structure would allow managers :

  1. To listen to users and to promote their full autonomy;
  2. To establish internal standards for any product. Such standards should truly reflect the needs of users;
  3. To review product stock to ensure they remain relevant;
  4. To specify, with users, technical specifications of products for purchasing according to the standards of the institution;
  5. To educate stakeholders on the content of standards and their use;
  6. To enhance internal resources in terms of products and equipment.

Participatory approach for the staff with the managers

Managers and users must be trained to properly select products and their many uses to avoid handling errors, improper dilution and to grab the security concepts associated. This is an essential prerequisite which is part of a participatory process that will generate a consensus from the janitors about the choice of cleaning products and initiate actions and training of new practices.

3 useful definitions in cleaning and disinfection

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 three useful definitions.

Deteriorated surfaces

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

Safe surfaces

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

Disinfected surfaces

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

Sources: Larousse, Wikipedia, Linternaute

What is a biofilm disruptor?

biofilm disruptor

What is a biofilm?

A biofilm is a thin polymer film produced by bacteria. For microorganisms, that’s a win, because it allows them to stick better to surfaces in addition to offering a kind of roof or blanket, a protection against bad cleaners attacks! This is obviously the point of view of the bacteria.

Disrupt the biofilm

In a health center, a school or a public place, biofilms can be harmful because they are a potential source of contamination and complicate cleaning. Therefore disruptive biofilms is used to weaken the polymer matrix and allow proper cleaning. The absence of biofilm will increase the efficiency of the disinfection of surfaces.

Biofilm Disruptor

Some highly specialized products, such as Ultra-Blast allow disruption of biofilm. For a healthy and sustainable results, rinse and disinfect the surface with disinfectant Ali-Flex RTU. This will result in a disinfected surface free of biofilms.

Ultra-blast : exclusive Technology by Lalema

Ultra-Blast is the flagship of the Ultra-Blast Technology (UBT) developed by Lalema. This technology, which is found in the Ultra-Blast but also in a whole product line, has the unique characteristic of beeing a biofilm disruptor. This is a major innovation in many areas of housekeeping and infection control.

An Objective Approach to Monitoring Hospital Cleanliness

ATP-tester-lalema

The days when visual room inspection used to be the gold standard for monitoring hospital cleanliness is long gone. Even though this practice is still useful, better and more objective ways have seen the light. One of the most scientific way is surface cultivation. However, surface cultivation is labor intensive and lacks on the spot results. Invisible UV markers and UV light are also a good way to validate if a place was cleaned. However, its application is limited and the data are not telling more then if a surface was cleaned or not at a given time. ATP testing is becoming more and more useful to verify cleanliness beyond visual inspection.

How does ATP monitoring works?

ATP monitoring is a simple and quick way for hospital to measure residual organic matter on a surface, device or piece of equipment. Adenosine triphosphate or ATP is an organic molecule found in every living or once-living organism. Essentially, the person conducting ATP monitoring swabs the surface of concern, and insert that swab into a handheld unit called a luminometer. Results are available within seconds. Good products will come with a free software that will permit to identify problematic areas, monitor trends and store results. It is a very tool to add to an audit system.

Fast, reliable and quality results

It is important to understand that ATP testing is not a microorganism detection method. ATP testing, is a cleaning verification test. It won’t tell you what’s on the surface, but it will tell you that there is something on the surface. A lot of healthcare professionals see the value that ATP monitoring offers. It empowers auditors, infection prevention staff and environmental services specialist to verify if cleaning was done properly in seconds. The speed at which the results are obtained is very appreciated in healthcare settings. If a result is out of specification, then corrective action can be taken immediately. Infection control staff often witness a direct correlation between low ATP levels and lower healthcare associated infection rates. Remember that environmental contamination is directly linked to up to 40% of healthcare associated infections.

Welcome to RamblingsAboutDisinfection.com

ramble

It’s been a year and a half since we started www.ali-flex.com. From the beginning, the blog purpose was mainly to ramble about disinfection. Hence, the name of this new web site!

We know from many comments that you liked our old posts, so we brought them to this new website.

Before I forget,  www.ali-flex.com is more alive than ever, but will from now on be dedicated to the Ali-Flex, Chlorinated Disinfectant Cleaner. One of the main advantages of Ali-Flex RTU is to be a disinfectant as well as a cleaning product. Ali-Flex RTU is ready to use and does not require any dilution, which allows avoiding wrong manipulations or dilution while saving time. Ali-Flex uses exclusive Certiklör Technology.

The difference with our Certiklör stabilized hypochlorite?

The name says it all: stabilized hypochlorite!

Our multidisciplinary team of skilled scientists took 2 years to stabilize the hypochlorite solution. What is the secret? I’m afraid that’s like a little like the Caramilk’s secret! All I can say is that the ingredients that uses this technology have been carefully selected and expertly designed to give hypochlorite increased stability.
And who says stabilized hypochlorite, says better disinfection, less smell and increased cleaning!

If you wish to ramble about it, do not hesitate to share this website with your collegues.

Zika Virus, Where Does It Come From?

zika-1

Source : NEWSCOM/SIPA

Everything started back in the 40s. A research team in Uganda, lead by Alexander Haddow, was studying the yellow fever virus near Entebbe. In April 1950, the team isolates a new virus from a monkey used as a test animal in the Ziika forest.

The first human clinical case was described in 1954 in Nigeria. Then, in 1956, an experiment was conducted on a volunteer who got infected with the Zika virus through bites of infected mosquitoes. The subject developed a weak fever with a mild skin rash. The symptoms disappeared within a week. No more doubt, the Zika virus can infect human being via a mosquito bite.

The Zika virus was isolated in numerous species of Aedes mosquitoes in Africa and Malaysia. In 2007, the virus was identified in Micronesia, in what was the first large scale epidemic. Since then, the Zika virus has been considered as an emerging virus.

zika-2

Aedes aegypti Mosquitoes

During 2013, an outbreak was raging in French Polynesia. The virus rapidly spread  and was confirmed in the five archipelagos of French Polynesia which count roughly 270,000 inhabitants. Between October 2013 and March 2014, the number of infected persons is estimated at 28,000 individuals. 73 cases of Guillain-Barré syndrome were described during this epidemic. The Guillain-Barré syndrome is a rare affection that can cause muscle weakness and even paralysis. Sporadic cases of Zika virus disease were described throughout Oceania.

In Brazil, at the start of 2015, an increasing number of patients presenting symptoms similar to the Dengue virus disease were observed. This increase stroke the attention of Brazilian Public Health authorities. An infectious disease specialist evaluated some patients and laboratory results confirmed that the virus was not the Dengue nor the Chikunguya virus. In March 2015, the Zika virus was confirmed by the Carlos Chagas Institute. It was the first time that Zika virus disease was contracted in the Americas.

The virus strain isolated in Brazil is somewhat close to the Asian strains with similarities to the virus isolated in Oceania a few years ago. Some experts believe that the virus was imported into Brazil during the World Championship of pirogue (va’a) that was held in Brazil in August 2014. Four Oceanian countries where the virus is circulating were present at the Championship. To this day, it was estimated that about 1.5 million cases of Zika virus disease occurred in Brazil, which makes it the biggest Zika virus outbreak ever recorded. It is now spreading to other countries where the Aedes mosquitoes are present. The Zika virus is suspected to be linked to microcephaly touching the fœtus of infected mothers. According to the Brazil Health Minister, 4,783 suspects cases of microcephaly were described so far (February 2016). Active research is  ongoing to find if and how can the Zika virus be related to birth defects.

Zika Virus is there a Risk for Surface Contamination?

zika virus

Zika virus is an arbovirus transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes. It was discovered in 1947 in a monkey in Uganda. Zika virus is mainly present in Central America and South America but also in Africa and Oceania.

Zika virus, what is it?

With the Zika virus, it is reporteded that nearly 3 out of 4 infections do not present any symptoms. When symptoms occur, it looks like the flu: fever, headache, body aches with rashes, beginning 3-12 days after being bitten by mosquitoes. Zika virus can also manifest as conjunctivitis or pain behind the eyes, as well as swelling of the hands or feet. The disease is not directly fatal.

Why are pregnant women particularly at risk?

If a pregnant woman is infected, she can pass the virus to her baby through the placenta or during birth.

It is suspected that pregnant women infected with the virus could give birth to babies with microcephaly. Babies are born with a head circumference below 33 cm and irreversible mental retardation.

However, there is no fully proven causal link between Zika and microcephaly and because some mothers do not believe they had the virus.

What precautions should you take?

There is no vaccine against the Zika virus. It is recommended to protect yourself against bites by wearing long clothing and using insect repellent and mosquito nets.
According to the official website of the Government of Canada (canadaensante.gc.ca)

No local transmission of Zika virus have been reported in Canada. At present, the mosquitoes that transmit Zika virus are not found in Canada because of the climate. So the likelihood of transmission is very low in the country.

Lassa fever could become a topic of much more serious concern

The media focus on the Zika virus is currently brings shadow on the epidemic of Lassa fever now raging in Nigeria and Benin. Lassa fever is a hemorrhagic fever often compared to the Ebola virus.

Low potential for contamination of surfaces

Zika virus is mainly transmitted through mosquito bites. However, hygiene and safety should follow their normal procedures including disinfection of high potential contamination of surfaces and hand washing.

Press release of the MSSS

On 29 January 2016, the national public health director, Dr. Horacio Arruda, also issued a statement to inform the public about Zika. You can read the detail here

How to obtain a more effective disinfection with Certiklör?

disinfection

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!

Stabilized hypochlorite?

Yes, yes! Let me explain. The hypochlorite that is found in bleach for example, flies away usually at a fast rate of more than 1% per month. This means that after 12 months, there will remain only small amounts of the active ingredient: the hypochlorite found in bleach! Imagine how fast this bleach goes away when it’s on the surface to be disinfected in the open air when it does so quickly when, in a closed container!

The difference with our Certiklör stabilized hypochlorite?

The name says it all: stabilized hypochlorite!

Our multidisciplinary team of skilled scientists took 2 years to stabilize the hypochlorite solution. What is the secret? I’m afraid that’s like a little like the Caramilk’s secret! All I can say is that the ingredients that uses this technology have been carefully selected and expertly designed to give hypochlorite increased stability.
And who says stabilized hypochlorite, says better disinfection, less smell and increased cleaning!

How to know if a product uses Certiklör stabilized hypochloritetechnology?

Now, how can you determine which Lalema products use this technology ? Easy! Look at the product label! For now, look at Ali-Flex RTU and Ali-Flex LF.
So if you care about your health, life quality and efficiency at work, think Certiklör stabilized hypochlorite!

Happy Global Handwashing Day

 

handwashing

October 15th is a day dedicated to increasing awareness and understanding about the importance of handwashing.

Handwashing is easy

Only a small amount of water and soap are necessary to accomplish a small action that provides great benefits. It takes 30 seconds and a bit of hand rubbing.

Handwashing works

Washing hands after using the toilet and before handling food can dramatically reduce the risk of infections such as foodborne infection. This year, handwashing was critical in the prevention of the Ebola virus in West Africa.

Handwashing is for everyone

We always ask children to wash their hands before eating, when they are back from school or after playing in the yard. From toddlers to elderly, handwashing never loses its importance. Infections can be transmitted by anyone to everyone.  In order to protect children or elderly, everyone should wash their hands. After all, it is the most cost-effective public health intervention.

 

For more information see : globalhandwashing.org

How to reduce fatigue and nosocomial infection at the same time

anti-fatigue mat

Working long hours in an upright position rings a bell to you? Back pain, stress and fatigue are your daily meals? There may be a solution for you.

First: Reduce fatigue with an anti-fatigue mat

One of the features found in this type of carpet is the presence of an absorbent foam. Has it been developed by NASA? In fact, we only need to know if it works. If fatigue is reduced and comfort is improved, then risk of injury and error is reduced.

Second: a unique environment

Anti-fatigue mats are found in dry, wet or oily environement. It is however possible to have a dry environment where there is a risk of contamination.

Most ergonomic mats designed for a dry environment have no backing as shown by the following picture:

without backing
When the mat is placed in an environment where there is a risk of contamination, for example in a intensive care unit, a nurse workstation or an examination room, this can be a real problem. Indeed, how can one ensure the disinfection of such a foam pad, an absorbent material, is located under the carpet ?

A suitable carpet to reduce fatigue for the Healthcare Environment

The solution? Get a sealed carpet. This is exactly what was done with the Pure-Clean anti-fatigue mat.

with backing

Pure Clean carpets (also known previously under the name Pure Ergo-by Lalema) is an ergonomic mat designed specifically for critical areas in terms of infection control.

  • Non-porous carpet completely sealed sides
  • Resistant surface cuts and punctures
  • Very easy to clean and disinfect
  • Excellent anti-fatigue properties

Dilution is the solution

dilution

The dilution of chemical products in housekeeping is certainly one of the aspects where the lack of knowledge is most evident.

Dilution is often misunderstood

Effectively, there are unfortunately too many housekeepers that have the habit of adding a too large quantity of chemicals to their washing solution. Therefore, if they would come to a stop for an instant, in order to realize up to which point this may be harmful to their work, this bad habit would be lost very quickly.

We must indeed remember that cleaning chemical products are conceived to reach their maximum potential with a very precise volume of water.

Consequently, we must use a dilution measuring system that should be standardized for the whole working team.

Effects of under-dilution

With respect to Health and Safety, under dilution can cause:

  • Dermatitis problems
  • Respiratory tract problems
  • Toxic fumes may cause cancer, difficult to prove and difficult to be recognized by the CSST.

With respect to work efficiency and surfaces, under dilution can:

  • Damage surfaces, since an under-diluted alkaline product will make a dull effect, by opening the pores of the floor coverings and thus allowing the deposit of alkalis. Acids, on the contrary, close the pores of the floor coverings and also burn the surface.
  • Leave a film on the surface that will give a continuous streaky appearance and this film being greasy will facilitate the adherence of dirt.
  • Cause enormous rinse problems because it will create foam in the solution container, which anyway has no cleaning effect.
  • Disturb disinfection efficiency.
  • Result in a loss of efficiency, since a well-diluted product reduces the physical demand to perform a task and favors the mechanical action.

Effects of over-dilution

Over dilution can cause:

  • Result in no disinfection.
  • Result in loss of efficiency since an over-diluted product will increase the physical workload at the expense of the mechanical action.

The right dilution is always the best solution

The use of a dilution system does not have to be complicated or costly. Portable system such as Optimixx Portable Dilution System can be used as so.

gun

Biofilm: The Next Big Thing in Disinfection

biofilm

The Next Big Thing in Disinfection: Biofilm

Have you ever wondered what are the main factors affecting the efficacy of disinfection and sterilization in the healthcare facility? U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lists seven major causes of microbiological persistence on surfaces:

  1. Number of microorganisms
  2. Microbial resistance to biocides
  3. Concentration and Potency of Disinfectants
  4. Duration of Exposure
  5. Chemical and Physical Factors
  6. Presence of Organic or Inorganic Matter
  7. Biofilms

For many experienced healthcare professionals, these factors are well known and often well dealt with. However, did you know the difference between soil (organic and inorganic matter) and biofilm? They both can significantly lower the efficacy of disinfection, but the biofilm is much harder to remove and control.

What is biofilm and how does it form?

Biofilm is an aggregation of microbial cells, surrounded by a protective layer of extracellular polymeric matrix, which attaches itself to any surface found in the hospital environment and becomes a source of contamination. Formation of complex, multicellular communities by microorganisms is a natural phenomenon which helps bacteria or fungi to survive environmental stress such as cleaning and disinfection.

Many pathogens require a presence of conditioning layer made from organic soil to settle and start extracellular matrix synthesis. But there are bacteria which don’t really need much help to start a biofilm community. When pathogens settle down and surround themselves in an extracellular polymeric substance (EPS), they are much harder to kill.

It has been reported that bacteria found in biofilm can be up to 1,000 times more resistant to biocides than their planktonic counterparts.

How to outsmart and fight biofilm?

Despite biofilms’ rigid structure and resistance mechanisms, biofilm cells can still be outsmarted. Since EPS is the ultimate protective barrier and communication route for pathogens, the control of biofilm should start with disruption of the EPS itself, followed by an application of a biocide.

MERS-CoV: Practical Tips for Disinfection

mers-cov

MERS-CoV: Practical Tips for Disinfection

The Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) is slowly spreading through the Middle East and Asia. Transmission, so far, seems to happen when a close contact with an infected individual occurs. This type of transmission has led to many healthcare associated infections to this day. As an example, a patient that waited for 2.5 days in a Seoul emergency department, end up transmitting the disease to 55 persons.

So far, the case-fatality rate is around 36 %, which is very high. However, this number may not be representative of a normal population and its kill rate is likely to be overestimated. A bias might exist when looking at the population who acquired the virus in Korea. Of the 171 cases, many had underlying medical conditions and have a median age of 55.

Official recommendations

CDC and Health Canada issued a few recommendations on infection control and prevention so far, and more is likely to be available soon. Regardless of their recommendations few data are available on environmental hygiene and disinfection practice regarding MERS-CoV in healthcare settings. Also, the transmission through the environment is not well known for this virus.

How to disinfect?

Regarding disinfection few information are available.  Coronaviruses are non-enveloped virus which makes them more resistant to certain disinfectant. As an example, it is known that a 400 ppm solution of quaternary ammonium compounds is ineffective against those viruses. Sodium hypochlorite at a minimum of 1,000 ppm seems to be sufficient, however a higher concentration would be optimal in healthcare settings. Very few data exist regarding other disinfectant technology.

At this moment, isolation with contact-droplets precaution is advised. In spite of the fact that it was suggested during the SARS outbreak that this type isolation might not be sufficient. Even though these two viruses are similar, we must remember that many differences exist. Thus we must be careful with extrapolation of data.

IPAC Canada 2015 : Thank you

 

environmental-hygiene-ipac-2015It was a pleasure to chat with some of you about current practice in environmental hygiene regarding infection control.

We hope you liked Ali-Flex RTU, our low odor, non-corrosive, broad spectrum and ready to use disinfectant cleaner. There is a great potential for improvement in the field of environmental hygiene and we are dedicated to it.

We look forward to hearing from you, but in the meantime, with best regards we remain.

The Ali-Flex Team (Manon, John and Remi)

PS If you want to know more about Ali-Flex RTU, visit our main web site.

Stopping it from Getting Viral

enveloped_virus-Stopping it from Getting Viral

Stopping it from Getting Viral

One disinfecting has to keep in mind what he is trying to get rid of. Disinfectant choice should always consider the microorganism to be eliminated in the environment. Let’s remember what we need to consider when disinfecting a virus contaminated environment.

Virology 101

First, let’s do a quick recap of what is a virus. A virus is a small infectious agent that can only replicate in another organism. This notion is important, it means that a human virus cannot replicate in food or soil. It is specific to its host. Another important notion about viruses is that they can be either enveloped or not enveloped. The envelope is made of a lipidic barrier originating from the cell the virus replicates in. Regardless of the lipidic membrane virus are made of a protein capsid and genetic material which can either be DNA or RNA.

Non-enveloped_virus-Stopping it from Getting Viral

Resistance to disinfectant

Basically, viruses can be divided in two groups regarding their resistance to disinfectant, those are the enveloped and non-enveloped virus. Non-enveloped virus are less susceptible to disinfectant. For example, norovirus or hepatitis A agent are small non-enveloped viruses. They are known to be resistant to environmental stress, such as temperature, UV, low or high humidity levels and disinfectant.

How to disinfect for virus contamination ?

First thing first, if your disinfectant has a virucidal claim on the bottle you are fine. You can also look for specific claims, however the general claim is sufficient has it was proven to be effective on multiple virus. Usually, a minimum of 1,000 ppm of stabilized sodium hypochlorite or 5,000-10,000 ppm of fast acting hydrogen peroxide is good way to make sure virus in the environment are no more of a threat.

IPAC Canada 2015 meeting, what to expect this year ?

ipac canada 2015 rip-tides-of-changes

Infection prevention and control Canada will hold its annual conference in just a month. This year it will take place in beautiful Victoria, BC. The theme surfing waves of change promise to bring a wind of new approaches and effective solutions to enhance the practice of ICPs. Key opinion leaders and other highly influential speakers will provide a tsunami of information through presentation and multiple discussions. With a special focus on compliance reporting on environmental hygiene and hand hygiene, this conference might inspire a real wave of change.

IPAC Canada 2015

IPAC is also an excellent opportunity to meet with the industry leader in the broad field of infection prevention. Whether you are looking for new environmental hygiene tools, a better software to monitor your antimicrobial stewardship program or hand hygiene audit solutions, key industries will be there. It will also be the perfect occasion to get familiar with the Ali-Flex brand.

Will you be on board  to meet the rip tides of change ? We will! Meet us at booth 72!

#IPACCanada2015 #AliFlex

AIPI 2015 – 37th Science Conference in Victoriaville

AIPI

Medical team at the hospital looking very happy

Lalema will be at the 37th Science Conference of the Association des Infirmières en prévention des infections. This year’s congress will take place in the beautiful town of Victoriaville.

AIPI Science Conference

The theme this year is: The prevention and infection control – a world without frontiers. Again, the lectures at this congress will be very interesting!

It is also an excellent opportunity to bring together industry and infection control professionals. Therefore, Lalema will be present and look forward to discuss new trends, technologies and new products with you.

We can also answer your questions on the most current environmental hygiene tools.

In short, it is also an excellent opportunity to familiarize yourself with our range of cleaners, disinfectants including the all-star Ali-Flex Series.

Expo Lalema 2015 : Its a rendezvous

expo-lalema

We are very proud to invite you to our 3rd edition of EXPO LALEMA. Last year was a frank success at that was because so many of you, dear clients, collaborators and friends showed up. Beware, we expect this year to be even better!

Ali-Flex product lines will be displayed

The whole Ali-Flex product line will be displayed and you will be meeting with our environmental hygiene specialist. Furthermore, exclusive announcements will be made.

Dedicated Partners

We are lucky to have such dedicated partners and always there for our clients and ourself. This year some of our most respected partners will join us. Rubbermaid, 3M, Kimberly Clark, Cascades, Bobrick, Comac, Eco II, Nacecare et Atlas Graham will be there to answer your questions and presenting you the way they rethink hygiene.

Expo Lalema : Its a rendezvous

This year we will be receiving you in the Canada pavilon on the Notre-Dame island. Many surprises await you!

Don’t forget to save the date, you won’t regret it!

We will be waiting for you on April 30th 2015. Doors will open at 11h00 at 1, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, Pavillon du Canada Toundra room.

You can subscribe via e-mail (mlandry@lalema.com) or directly on our website site at : www.lalema.com.

We look forward to seeing you there,

Why choose a Ready-to-use Bleach based Cleaner-Disinfectant?

ready-to-use-cleaner-disinfectant-nursing

In the actual market, you can find many cleaner-disinfectants. When it comes to consumer products, you’ll find a lot of brand, most of them are ready to use. It means you do not have to dilute the product and use it as is to disinfect. For industrial and institutionnal use, most of cleaner-disinfectants are concentrated if not ultra-concentrated. In that case, why choose a ready-to-use Bleach based Cleaner-Disinfectant for institutionnal use?

Main benefit of a low-foam concentrated product

Let’s talk about a product like Ali-Flex LF, a product like this one offers a high concentration for general disinfection in hospitals. On a day to day basis, with the right dilution system, the surfactants contained in ALI-FLEX LF increase the wetting power of this chlorinated disinfectant and contribute to degrease and remove dirt from hard non porous surfaces such as countertops, walls, floors, toilets, commode chairs, etc.

Main benefit of a ready-to-use chlorinated disinfectant cleaner

When it comes to infection control, one important aspect is to reduce the risk. We know that dilution systems can sometimes be flawed and not consistant with delivery concentration. Therefore, it is crucial to obtain a consistant known concentration. That is exactly what Ali-Flex RTU can provide: a factory consistant concentration of 6000 PPM (when packaged) with a validated shelf-life.

Of course it may generate more plastic in the environnement. Recycling may then be on option to consider. At the same time, when patient’s lifes are at risk, all factors that can reduce the risk is of important value.

What are you using in your facility?

Tell us what kind of product you are using. Are you in control? Are you facing problems when it comes to stop eclosion? Surely we can help you! Let’s talk!

Beware, microbes can survive in hospital environment

microbes

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 environment.

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? We can help, make sure to visit our unique offer for Diagnostic Analysis of Hospital Housekeeping Service. My next post is going to explain how cleaning allows reducing risks of infection among patients.