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.

Infection control in schools

Every parent knows it: when kids are in school, they are way more likely to get sick than when they are not. From sharing toys, chairs, desks, computer keyboards, water fountains and door handles, kids are the most prone to getting sick. Elementary and preschool students are the most prone to getting sick at school, mostly because their immune system is not fully developed yet. On average, elementary students will have 12 colds per year (yikes!). And let’s not forget that many school staff also end up getting sick from their students. So what can be done to help stop the spread of infection among students and staff?

Source: Pixabay

Sure, you can remind kids to wash their hands, cover their mouths when they cough, etc, but how effective will it really be? Schools must play a very important role in the cleaning and disinfection within their buildings in order to protect both employees and students. The primary person responsible for the upkeep of the school building is the custodian, and, as such, he should be trained in infection control methods.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) makes the following recommendations on how to properly clean and disinfect schools and what procedures to follow:

  1. Knowing the difference between cleaning, disinfecting and sanitizing
    The CDC stresses the difference between the three methods of “cleaning”. While cleaning involves the removal of dirt and germs, it does not necessarily kill the bacteria. Disinfection, on the other hand, uses chemicals to kill bacterias, and does not focus on a clean surface, but rather a bacteria-free one. Finally, sanitization is the process of lowering the number of bacteria to a safe level.
  2. Clean and disinfect surfaces that are touched often
    This point speaks for itself; many schools already have a specific procedure regarding what should be cleaned more often, such as desks, compared to something that does not have to be cleaned often.
  3. Do routine cleaning and disinfecting.
  4. Clean and disinfect correctly.
    It’s simple to say, however, many people and institutions are not trained to know exactly what “correctly” means. It is important to pay close attention to the detailed instructions provided on the label of product.
  5. Use products safely.
    Pay attention to warnings and hazards on the label of product. Make sure that proper equipment (gloves, masks, etc.) are used when necessary.
  6. Handle waste properly.
    Avoid touching tissues/napkins when emptying waste baskets. Wear gloves, if possible. Wash hands after handling waste.
  7. Learn more.
    CDC provides more follow up information on their website about disinfection and cleaning for schools.

Let’s prevent staff and students from getting unnecessary illnesses and work together for a more clean and safe learning environment!


SOURCES: https://www.cdc.gov/flu/school/cleaning.htm

http://www.standard.net/Health/2015/09/24/Everyone-gets-sick-when-school-starts

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.