Healthcare-related infections: an avoidable risk

12.11.2018
HAIs (Healthcare Associated Infections) are, by definition, diseases which affect patients inside hospitals and are not present or incubating at the time of admission. HAIs could appear after discharge and besides patients, they often afflict employees in the hospital staff, too.
The issue: Healthcare Associated Infections
“ No one should get sick seeking care. Yet, globally, hundreds of millions of people are affected every year by health care-associated infections (HAIs), many of which are completely avoidable and a large proportion are caused by antibiotic resistant organisms. No country or health system, even the most developed or sophisticated, can claim to be free of HAIs.”
1 person every 25 admissions contracts HAI, this involves : 
 increasing mortality and increasing costs

Healthcare Associated Infections
  • Approximately 30% of patients in ICUs are affected by at least one episode of health care-associated infection.
  • Newborns are also at higher risk, especially in low income areas. Among hospital-born babies in developing countries, HAIs are responsible for 4% to 56% of all causes of death in the neonatal period.
Prevention, prevention, prevention There is no solution that will, by itself, solve the problem.
Protocols and best practices have been established by the CDC (U.S.A.), the World Health Organization, and many others.
Sterilization, disinfection and cleaning represent pillars of prevention actions that must be done every day inside every hospital and clinic. 
Effective infection prevention and control reduces health care- associated infections by at least 30%.
Although significant progress has been made in preventing some HAIs types, there is much more work to be done.

UltraViolet Technology is a great opportunity to exploit
  • UV–C lights penetrates inside bacteria, spores, fungi, molds, mites, and viruses.
  • UV–C high energy is absorbed at RNA and DNA level, damaging nucleic acids avoiding cellular growth & proliferation.
  • UV–C ‘s action is effective within seconds of irradiation
  • UV–C disinfects at 99,9% any surface, water and air.
 
UVGI technology is a physic disinfection method with a great costs/benefits ratio, it’s ecological, and, unlike chemicals, it eliminates every microorganisms, also multidrug-resistant (MDR) pathogens. UVGI is a science-proved technology. Research is still ongoing, but there is much evidence on the efficacy of UVGI and the proper way to use it, though its application has yet to fully mature.
  
How could we apply UV technology to prevent HAIs in medical environments?
What is one of the most contaminated surface inside any hospital? Hands.
For this reason there are so many campaigns to educate people to wash their hands…clean hands can save lives!
So, what is comparable to hands? What is the most common used tool in any hospital?

Stethoscope contamination
Stethoscope is the most widely used instruments in any medical environment.
It is used in rich countries, in poor countries, in private clinics, in field hospitals.
It is used by doctors, nurses and any other health professional.
  • Stethoscopes carry several different pathogens and they are usually never clean.
  • Doctors are focused on making diagnose and treat patients.
  • There is often rush between one visit and the other.
  • Common cleaning includes the use of disposable chemicals and the creation of special wastes.
 How could we apply UV technology to STETHOSCOPES?
 
The most innovative source of ultraviolet rays are UV-C LEDs.
These microscopic UV light sources are able to achieve same results as standard UV lamps while offering revolutionary features in terms of portability, power and applicability.
Since their recent implementation it has been possible to design new products for the sanitation of water and surfaces that cannot even be imagined just until a few years ago.

STET CLEAN is “Wearable Disinfection”
  • Portable Version: designed to follow your stethoscope everywhere you go.
  • Double control system – optical sensor and mechanical – for use in operational safety conditions
  • Microprocessor for irradiation and security controls
  • Special polycarbonate body
  • Light weight (100 grams) and pocket sized (limited footprint), like a common smartphone
  • Fits with the most common stethoscope size (around 46 / 47 cm diameter, i.e. Littman Classic II)
STET CUBE is “Disinfection on your desk”
  • Desk Version: designed for “sharing”. It fits in hospital cart, desk, etc.
  • With the optional supplied you can easily mount it on a wall
  • Double control system – infrared sensor and mechanical switch as you close the cover
  • Microprocessor for irradiation and security controls
  • Special shiny polycarbonate body
  • Compatible with every stethoscope type and dimension (pediatric, neonatal, cardiological...)
For more information see: http://www.stetclean.com/en

F.A.Q.

Ultraviolet rays are electromagnetic waves which are part of light. Electromagnetic waves are divided into three main wavelength bands, expressed in nanometers, nm: Ultraviolet rays (UV) 100-400 nm Visible rays (light) 400-700 nm Infrared rays (IR) 700-800,000 nm UV rays are in turn identified in three bands:

  • UV-A (315-400 nm) with tanning properties;
  • UV-B (280-315 nm) con proprietà terapeutiche e di sintesi della vitamina "D";
  • UV-C (100-280 nm) with germicidal properties.

UV-C rays (100-280 nm) have a strong germicidal effect and reach their maximum efficacy at the 265 nm wavelength. The germicidal effect of UV-C radiation covers bacteria, viruses, spores, fungi, moulds and mites; this is mainly due to the destructive effect of the UV-C rays on their DNA, which damage their reproductive system and prevent them from replicating.

Bacteria, Viruses, Spores, Fungi, Mould, and Mites are all sensitive to, and can therefore be eliminated with, UV-C light. Mircrobes cannot acquire resistance to UV-C light, unlike that which occurs using chemical disinfectants and antibiotics. UV rays are ecological. Polluting the environment is inevitable using normal disinfectants. Directly inhaling the vapours, or swallowing food products contaminated by any contact with said chemical disinfectants, can also give rise to a number of serious risks. In cases where chemical disinfectants cannot be eliminated (food, pharmaceutical, healthcare industries, etc.), using ultraviolet rays for disinfection allows a reduction in their use, with considerable economic savings and greater care for the environment, while maintaining and almost always improving the level of disinfection. UV-C light devices can be installed in environments and on machinery and be programmed to maintain the same level of disinfection day and night, guaranteeing ideal hygiene conditions, without highs and lows. On the contrary, chemical disinfectants are effective only during their actual use. Using LIGHT PROGRESS equipped luminaires, operating costs are negligible; it could be said that “LIGHT PROGRESS” UV-C systems do not require maintenance except for the normal replacement of the lamps. The cost/benefit ratio is considered excellent; the devices are both powerful and long-lasting. Hence the elimination of germs using UV-C technology is low-cost and highly effective compared to (or in combination with) other systems.

UV-C light genuinely works if properly applied and with the necessary precautions. The difference between a quality project, and an application that fails to bring the desired results, lies in the degree of knowledge about the subject, and level of experience acquired over time. Light Progress has been developing successful projects worldwide since 1987, and has built a client portfolio consisting of important companies in all fields requiring certified hygienic conditions to produce quality products and services.