In response to the ongoing pandemic, many products are entering the market, hoping to capture customers who are desperate for ways to help them stay safe. In this emotional time, consumers may be confused about who to trust when it comes to claims made by products: Will this test really tell me if I'm COVID-19 positive? Will this mask really filter out virus particles? Will this air treatment really make a room safe for group assemblies? One of the patterns in these new products has been the use of copper, a known biocide that was elevated by a recent study by the NIH. In today's post, we will explore how you can cut through all the hype about copper and choose products that can actually back up their claims.
By their very nature, hospitals both serve the most vulnerable people and host the most powerful germs. How do hospitals maintain safe levels of cleanliness in this challenging environment? The short answer is through rigorous planning and meticulous staff, all being organized into a myriad of activities and schedules by the conductor of this symphony, infection control. Let's take a closer look at the behind-the-scenes orchestration through two very important teams.
After our first post about prions, it's a comfort to learn that the rest of the germs on our countdown are able to be destroyed by cleaners! Nevertheless, each of the following germs requires careful removal to ensure a cleaner environment for vulnerable patients and individuals.
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, experts have warned about the relative risk of activities to both the individual and the community. At first, when we were all focusing on flattening the curve in order to prevent overwhelming health facilities, the goal was to reduce community transmission while keeping individuals safe. Now, as states gradually reopen their places of work and recreation, the goals shift more towards helping individuals make the best choices from themselves and their families. While many commercial and recreational sites are now open, how can you make the best choices for your own family to stay safe this summer?
Germs, by definition, are viruses, bacteria, spores, fungi, and prions that can make you sick. And all germs are not created alike. Not only does the category of "germs" contain any pathogenic organisms, these organisms also vary tremendously in size and susceptibility to drugs and cleansers. This next series of posts provides an overview of these different germ types and explains just how hardy they are under fire from disinfectants to sterilants. Here's the rundown in order, from the strongest to the weakest, against our arsenal of cleaners. We'll start with the biggest, baddest bully first.
Recent reports brought a stunning number to light: 42% of deaths due to COVID-19 have taken place in long-term residential facilities. Just .61% of our population lives in a residential facility (nursing home or assisted living facility), making this disproportionate death rate truly shocking. While deaths in these facilities are high in part because of the health of the residents, we cannot overlook the fact that the virus spread within the facility, affecting both patients and staff. This means that for many of these cases, COVID-19 was a healthcare-associated infection, or HAI. In today's post, we'll look at what made it so easy for the virus to spread so fatally within long-term facilities.
I just touched that door! What could be on it? Oh no - I also pushed that elevator button and that person just coughed!
Recent headlines about the spread of the virus causing COVID-19 are misleading. They seem to imply that the CDC has reevaluated how important surfaces are in the spread of the virus. In reality, the CDC page getting so much attention has only rewritten a heading, leaving the actual advice regarding surfaces intact. The advice remains the same because the science remains the same. We'll explore this in today's post.
Surface disinfection has become the new normal. Today's post takes the concept of a high school geometry proof to connect contaminated environments to infected patients. Although this research is in healthcare settings the concept applies to all surfaces in all environments. Rest assured, you’re not crazy for questioning the last time the shopping cart handle, mass transit grab rail, or door push plate you just touched was wiped down.
It's hard to quantify the impact the coronavirus pandemic has had on healthcare. We can list numbers of lives lost, ventilators used, masks needed, or swabs ordered. But outside the crisis caused directly by the spread of COVID-19, there is a ripple effect on other aspects of healthcare. In today's post, we'll look at the health crisis within the health crisis - the issues leading to additional strain on our health care system and our patient populations.