Infection control: News round-up

A round-up of the latest advances in infection control and bug-busting activities in the NHS and private healthcare sector

Novel pillow makes cleaning easier

A PHYSIOLOGIST from Essex has designed a new pillowcase to help prevent the spread of infection while providing increased patient comfort. The Bolton Pillow Case (BPC) was created by Ian Bolton, senior cardiac physiologist and infection prevention link practitioner at Broomfield Hospital in Chelmsford. Ideal for use in cardiac departments, ultrasound units, A&E, clinic rooms, care homes and a wide range of other outpatient healthcare settings, it has a surface that can be wiped in seconds between patients, eliminating the need for a conventional pillowcase. The pillow was developed with help from Health Enterprise East, the NHS innovation hub for the east of England, which assisted in negotiating a deal with Teal Furniture to distribute the BPC to trusts across the country. Bolton said: “Made from the same materials as a conventional clinic couch, it has a flap of material along its top edge which hangs over the top of a couch backrest. Along the far edge of the flap is a row of discreet counter balance weights which stop the pillow from sliding down the backrest. This means the BPC can be put into position in around two seconds without any fixings and, very importantly, it stays in place which is more comfortable for the patient. This approach also takes conventional pillow cases out of the system, saving on laundry, renewal and distribution costs, as well as reducing clinic time in taking off a soiled pillowcase and putting on a clean one. It also lowers the risk of hospital-acquired infections.” On an average day in the cardiac department at Broomfield, he said the BPC was saving laundry costs on 161 pillow cases and enabling staff to see more patients per session due to quicker cubile turnaround times.

Link-up improves infection prevention

EBIOX, a UK-based developer of advanced decontamination technologies for healthcare and medical use, has signed an agreement with Amazon Bio-Guard to create a unique system for total room or vehicle interior disinfection. Commenting on the link-up, Ebiox spokesman, Paul Blenkinsopp, said: “Growing demand for improved total room or vehicle disinfection has highlighted shortcomings of currently-available technologies including extended process time, complex protocols, prohibitive cost, damage to materials in the area being sanitised, and surface wetting. The new Trionic A2Z Sanitizing Dry Mist System provides solutions to each of these problems, though with shorter process times, no surface wetting or damage and lower costs. This is achieved in part through the creation of a dry mist to disseminate the active microbials rather than a water-based one. We believe this provides a real opportunity for hospitals, ambulance services and others to enhance their infection prevention and control programmes while holding the line on budgets.”

Improved MRSA results in 18 hours

{PIC ID="3" width="170" class="imageleft" title="Brilliance MRSA 2 Agar" description=""}

THERMO Fisher Scientific has announced the launch of Brilliance MRSA 2 Agar, an improved chromogenic medium that enables rapid and reliable screening for MRSA. “When screening large numbers of patients, it is really important to be able to detect MRSA quickly and easily,” said James Beaves, the company’s clinical product manager for microbiology products. “The refined formulation of Brilliance MRSA 2 Agar is more accurate than ever before. The distinctive blue MRSA colonies are quickly identified and easily differentiated from other organisms that might grow. This allows microbiologists to identify positive patient samples quickly and with confidence so that appropriate action can be taken without delay.” The medium is suitable for inoculation direct from screening swabs, or it can be used to plate out an isolate or suspension. Results are available in just 18 hours, following incubation at 37°C. In trials, it demonstrated improved performance compared to the previous formulation and alternative chromogenic MRSA media. In a low prevalence setting, it detected more MRSA positive samples than any other medium without a single false positive result, achieving a positive predictive value of 100% and a negative predictive value of 99.7%.

Firm wins sustainability recognition

Gaining the European Ecolabel Flower is an important milestone for our sustainability journey and helps to demonstrate our ongoing investment, dedication and commitment to global environmental matters

A HAND hygiene specialist has received a European award highlighting its sustainable approach to product development. GOJO’s Mild Foam Hand Wash Fragrance Free is the first product from the company's portfolio to display the European Ecolabel flower icon. To gain recognition the product was assessed against comparative soaps and has now become one of the few to be awarded an Ecolabel licence by the UK Competent Body. The licence is the official environmental label in the UK and EU and is supported and administered by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). Suzanne De Maine, spokeswoman for GOJO Industries Europe, said: “Gaining the European Ecolabel Flower is an important milestone for our sustainability journey and helps to demonstrate our ongoing investment, dedication and commitment to global environmental matters. We hope the icon, along with our own sustainable stamp, will help customers make informed choices to develop their own environmental credentials.” Debbie McSherry, from the UK Ecolabel Competent Body, added: “Rigorous Ecolabel criteria are not based on one single factor, but on studies that analyse the impact of the product or service on the environment throughout its life-cycle, starting from raw material extraction in the pre-production stage, through to production, distribution and disposal.”

Companies