What influences your infection control decisions?

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  Posted by: The Probe      23rd May 2021

With infection control being more vital than ever, it’s interesting to look in more depth at the factors that influence your choice in cleaning products. By doing so, you can ensure that you are using the products best suited for each purpose and area of your practice, safeguarding your patients and staff alike.

So what are the main features you should look at?

A significant difference 

At first glance, there may not seem to be a huge difference between cleaning products that claim to kill 99.99% of pathogens compared to those that kill 99.9999%. However, this number can make a significant difference to your defences against disease transmission.

It’s helpful to visualise the difference in terms of how many viruses can be destroyed by one product versus another. If, for example, a surface had 1,000,000 viruses on it, the product that kills 99.99% could potentially leave 100 active viruses behind after the surface has been treated. On the other hand, a product capable of killing 99.9999% would leave only one active virus behind, meaning that it offers a much better defence against disease transmission.

This is definitely worth noting, especially as research has proven that an individual can be infected by a single virus genotype, but the chances of infection are much, much greater if more than one particle of a virus is present.[i]

You also need to consider whether products are effective against recent threats. The ongoing Coronavirus pandemic makes it very clear that new viruses and diseases will continue to emerge in the future, so you need to keep up to date with products and see if they are able to work against the latest diseases. As we’ve been living in the pandemic for over a year now, the majority of products should have been tested against Coronavirus – so you need to ensure the ones you are using are effective against it.

How do your cleaning products fit into your cleaning cycles?

It’s important to remember that areas with high footfall, such as treatment rooms and the waiting room in your practice, will inevitably be exposed to more pathogens than other areas. Think of these locations like a battlefield – they need to be well defended from pathogens, especially as they are constantly under attack from potential pathogens being expelled or transmitted to surfaces by the people who pass through them.

Cleaning surfaces is like reinforcing your defences against these enemies, which is why you need to examine whether the products you use are effective for a long time or whether they stop working as soon as they have dried or been wiped away. It pays to look for cleaning products that can offer lasting protection that will keep defences high between cleaning cycles as this will help limit the potential for disease transmission more effectively.

Versatile and safe on surfaces 

Another aspect to think about is how versatile the cleaning products you select are and whether they can be safely used on all the surfaces within your practice. Some cleaning products may be very effective on materials such as metal and plastic, but could be potentially corrosive on delicate equipment, and potential cause damage in the long run. You also need to think about the variety of surface materials in your practice – are there any soft furnishings or wood? These may require different cleaning products, so it’s absolutely vital that you read instructions carefully to see whether there are any shortcomings in your current arsenal.

This thinking applies to hand washes and hand sanitisers too – are these non-fragranced and safe for people with allergies to use? Products that irritate skin and exacerbate eczema can potentially put people more at risk of contacting diseases from surfaces, as cracks in the skin’s natural defences let in microorganisms more easily.[ii] As such, you need to check that your cleaning products are both effective at destroying pathogens and have been tested against allergies and other potential irritants, so that your staff and patients don’t suffer any adverse effects. 

Find an all-round solution

Bearing all of these different aspects in mind, it’s easy to worry that you’ll need a huge range of products in order to suit your needs. However, that doesn’t have to be the case. The Steri-7 Xtra range of disinfectants from Initial Medical is a versatile selection of products that includes hand washes, surface cleaners and more. All able to deactivate 99.9999% of pathogens, the solutions are also imbued with Reactive Barrier Technology – an innovative feature which means that once a surface has been treated, the solution prevents pathogens recolonising for up to 72 hours, meaning your defences are always high, even between cleaning cycles.

Do the best for your patients and staff

An excellent standard of infection control is paramount in order to keep staff and patients safe. By investing in versatile, efficient products that offer lasting defence, you can help guarantee the continued welfare of every individual who enters your practice.

 

For further information please visit www.initial.co.uk/medical or Tel: 0870 850 4045

 

Author: Rebecca Waters, Category Manager, Initial Medical

Rebecca has worked in the Healthcare sector for the past 17years and was a Research Chemist with Bayer Cropscience prior to joining Rentokil Initial in 2003.  She keeps up to date on all developments within the clinical waste management industry and is an active member of the CIWM, SMDSA and BDIA.  

-Ends-

 

About Initial Medical Waste Experts

Initial Medical is an expert in healthcare waste management, providing a complete collection, disposal and recycling service for hazardous and non-hazardous waste and offensive waste produced by businesses and organisations within the UK.

The safe management of healthcare waste is vital to ensure your activities are not a risk to human health.  Initial Medical’s healthcare waste services ensure that all of your waste is stringently handled in compliance with legislation and in accordance with Safe Management of Healthcare Waste best practice guidelines, providing you with the peace of mind that you are adhering to current legislation.

For further information please visit www.initial.co.uk/medical or Tel: 0870 850 4045

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[i] ScienceDaily. A Single Virus Particle is Enough To Cause Infectious Disease. Link: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090313150254.htm [Last accessed March 21].

[ii] Healthline. Is Eczema Cobtagious? Link: https://www.healthline.com/health/is-eczema-contagious#_noHeaderPrefixedContent [Last accessed March 21].


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