Hands, Face, Space, Fresh Air: combating Coronavirus in practice

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  Posted by: The Probe      13th July 2021

As restrictions continue to lift, the government introduced new guidance from the 29th March to best combat the spread of Coronavirus. The “Hands, Face, Space, Fresh Air” campaign encourages people to wash their hands, cover their face, keep a safe distance from others and meet in fresh air, all in an effort to move towards the next step in easing restrictions safely.[i]

But how can you implement these messages into your practice?

Hands

Hand hygiene has always been an important part of infection control in practice, but this doesn’t mean that you can’t implement further measures to ensure that disease transmission is minimised as much as possible.

As you’ll be aware, government guidance stated that providing patients with hand hygiene facilities was essential since dental services resumed last year.[ii] But are you using the most beneficial hand products? With the ability to open practice bathrooms back up to the public, it’s a smart idea to look at the efficacy of the hand soap/handwash you provide.

This is also true for hand sanitiser. Some of the key things to look out for are whether the hand sanitiser you’re using has been made to comply with World Health Organization standards and if it has been certified to European standards BSEN 1276 and BSEN 1500. These are a good guarantee that the sanitiser has the right amount of alcohol content and can effectively kill the vast majority of pathogens.

It’s also worth considering how hand sanitiser will impact skin with frequent use. Repeated hand washing and sanitising can dry skin out, making it prone to damage and therefore more open to infection.[iii] In light of this, it’s important to look at products that provide protection and moisturising benefits at the same time.

Face

Face masks have become such a mainstay part of our wardrobes during the pandemic that it’s unlikely people will leave the house without one. It’s probable that you will already be using high-quality face masks with a high Bacterial Filtration Efficiency (BFE) rating in practice, but this is still something to consider when ordering PPE. It may also be worth keeping a supply of face masks available for patients just in case they are visiting and forget theirs, as this will ensure they are using high-quality face coverings that will minimise the risk of disease transmission.

Space

Surface disinfection and ensuring the space of your dental practice is safe is another top priority. Government guidance has already ensured that regular cleaning has become a daily part of practice, but much like with hand hygiene it’s a good idea to look closely at the products you are using and see if there are any improvements to be made.

Your practice will have a number of different surface types and materials, so it’s a wise move to examine whether these will impact the efficacy of the products you’re using. Are the wipes you use safe for all surfaces, including delicate equipment? Are your cleaning products simple and stress-free? Streamlining your infection control is all about looking at ways to enhance how efficient your approach is and keeping things as simple as possible.

Cleaning products and surface wipes should kill at least 99.9999% of pathogens, and when purchasing wipes, you can check whether they are validated by European standard EN 16615 to ensure they are a trusted and effective choice.

Fresh air

Air quality and airborne transmission of diseases are two topics that most recently have been highlighted as a major concern, and for good reason.  Ongoing research into how Coronavirus spreads found that although distancing measures were a good first defence, the aerosol generated from various activities could travel further than first thought. This makes airborne transmission increasingly likely, especially in places with poor ventilation.[iv]

In light of this, it makes sense to invest in a system that provides continuous air disinfection, particularly in places of your practice that don’t have windows that can be opened to provide a good standard of ventilation. There are a number of systems on the market that can filter the air of pathogens, but there are a few points that you should consider when making your purchase. For example, does the air disinfection unit have the scientific evidence to prove the product kills and deactivates all airborne pathogens? Can the system be used 24/7 around even the most vulnerable? You may also want to look at ease of installation, if any maintenance is required and whether the system is advanced enough to filter out odours from the air.

Your source for trusted infection control

Providing ingenuity in infection control since 1830, Eschmann has a number of solutions available that will help you implement the “Face, Hands, Space, Fresh Air” guidance in your practice. Eschmann’s innovative Novaerus air disinfection units have been scientifically proven to safely kill and deactivate all airborne microorganisms, eliminate odours and can be used continuously around even the most vulnerable members of society. Eschmann also supplies specially put together PPE Packs that contain face masks, Azo Universal alcohol-free cleaning and disinfection wipes and Eschmann’s own hand sanitiser enriched with moisturising coconut oil. This full range of solutions enables you to keep staff and patients safe.

Ready for every change in guidance

As the situation progresses and restrictions continue to ease, it’s likely that government guidance will evolve further. By taking a close look at infection control measures and implementing extra defences such as air disinfection systems, you can ensure that you are prepared for whatever the future may bring.

 

For more information on the highly effective and affordable range of decontamination equipment and products from Eschmann, please visit www.eschmann.co.uk or call 01903 875787

 

[i] Public Health England. Hands. Face. Space. Fresh Air. Link: https://coronavirusresources.phe.gov.uk/hands-face-space-fresh-air/overview/ [Last accessed May 21].

[ii] Health and Social Care Board. Preparation For The Re-Establishment of The General Dental Services – Operational Guidance. Link: https://bda.org/advice/Coronavirus/Documents/Preparation%20for%20the%20Re-establishment%20of%20the%20GDS%20-%20Operational%20Guidance%20-%20June%202020.pdf [Last accessed May 21].

[iii] Mayo Clinic. Dry Skin. Link: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/dry-skin/symptoms-causes/syc-20353885 [Last accessed May 21].

[iv] British medical Journal. Airborne Transmission of Covid-19. Link: https://www.bmj.com/content/370/bmj.m3206 [Last accessed May 21].


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