Preventing and controlling the spread of contamination and infection is of very high importance for healthcare facilities, and it is safe to say that many measures have already been taken in order to reach these goals. However, like many things, there is still much room for improvement moreover when it is about surface damage.
Source: Shaw Air Force Base
Evidently healthcare facilities use a wide variety of equipment, from monitors to surgical instruments to cleaning tools, and over time, this equipment wears down. Sometimes, equipment will break completely and be unusable, however sometimes there will only be a few scratches or other small damage. But what happens when these scratches or other forms of damage become shelters and areas of growth for microorganisms? This is an example of how surface damage may not only impede the prevention of bacteria growth, but also provide the microorganisms with a place to grow.
What is surface damage?
According to Infection Control Today, surface damage is defined as:
a quantifiable physical or chemical change from the original manufactured state of an object (surface or device).
While it is recognized that surface damage of medical equipment poses a potential threat in the spread of bacteria in healthcare facilities, there is no standardized method for healthcare workers to determine what is considered surface damage, and at what point the damage is likely to cause the spread of bacteria. In a later blog post, I will discuss the ideal surface damage testing protocol, proposed by Peter Teska et al. in “Infection Control Today.” In this article, the authors discuss ideal methods of avoiding the problems that surface damage presents.
Are your surfaces damaged?
At Lalema, when we talk about hygiene and cleanliness, we offer a wide range of technical and consulting services. Find out more.
You can also read this article about The complete guide for hospital cleanliness.
Source: Infection Control Today. Vol. 21. No. 12. January 2018.
I develop maintenance program for my clients and the question that comes up most often is:
“How often should I clean this or that?”
How often should I clean this?
Here is a non-exhaustive list of 16 surfaces to clean regularly at home.
|1. Cellular phone
||Wipe with a microfiber glass cloth to remove any greasy substances and germs
|2. Kitchen Counter
||Use a mild all purpose cleaner. When using a disinfectant cleaner, rinse the surface.
||Use specially designed capsules or a little bit of baking soda and vinegar and the trick is done.
||To avoid the appearance of mold and other undesirable contents, empty and clean the shelves and containers.
|5. Kitchen floor
||Use a broom after each meal and a good damp mopping every week.
||Vacuuming carpets every week will even reduce allergies. Remove the dog and the baby before to do so!
||Vacuum furniture and fabrics every month and steam clean annually
|8. Remote control or joystick
||Remove the batteries, clean the remote control surface by rubbing the buttons and gaps.
|9. Ceiling fans
||With an all purpose cleaner, wipe the blades. Do not forget to turn off the fan!
|10. Window blinds
||Dust and clean batten by batten with soapy water and a soft cloth.
||Brush daily and thoroughly clean once a week.
||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
||Spray a bathroom cleaner to remove residual accumulated soaps and limescale.
|14. Bed linen
||Wash in warm water to remove bacteria and mites. Avoid eating in your bed!
||Vacuum the mattress twice a year to remove dead skin cells and mites.
|16. Air filter
||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!
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
Handwashing 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;
- swelling, burning, or tenderness of the skin;
- dry, cracked or scaly skin;
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.