15.5.2014

Hygiene in Healthcare: Continued Need for Optimization.

Avoidable human distress up to and including massive economic losses: The consequences of infections in hospitals, retirement and care facilities result and continue to present massive challenges for those responsible. These problems demand additional and safe measures.

Researchers and healthcare authorities are continuously engaged in optimizing processes to contain the risks of infection in healthcare facilities. Nevertheless, the numbers related to hospital infections (HAI or healthcare-associated infections) continue to be alarming: The WHO talks of around 4.1 million infected patients in Europe each year. In the United States, there are around 99,000 deaths attributable to HAI; in Europe, the number is 37,000. This not only includes traditional hospitals, where the pathogens present a danger. The United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates the number of infections in long-term care facilities at over one million – each year. The economic damage of this is also immense: In the United States alone, this causes an additional 16 million days in hospital.

Breaking the Infection Chain
According to WHO investigations, 20 to 40 percent of all HAI cases result from cross-contamination; in other words, the pathogens are transmitted from one person to the next. Hand hygiene plays an elementary role here. Experts estimate that 70 to 80 percent of all infections are transmitted through the hands. The WHO and CDC set up a major program on this in 2011. Detailed prevention and containment work is also necessary in the daily work.

The Law on the Prevention of Infections in Germany also is designed to encourage better controls. It requires hospitals with more than 400 beds to hire their own hospital hygienists. These types of measures also mean that the demand for antimicrobial finishing in hospitals, retirement centers and care and education facilities will likely increase.

For many years, SANITIZED AG has actively supported hygiene protection in public facilities (healthcare, education, transportation). Through the antimicrobial treatment of textiles and plastics with proved and safe Sanitized® technologies, bacteria growth is permanently prevented and the infection chain is broken. The Sanitized® antimicrobial function can be used in mattresses, bed linens, clothing and covers as well as in plastic products, such as door handles, cabinets or medical equipment.

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