What makes a surface a Preventive | Biocidal SurfaceTM? Four critical characteristics: It is registered by the EPA for public health claims. It actively kills harmful bacteria*. It continues cleaning even after recontamination. Finally, it requires no additional human processes - it performs its sanitizing simply by being installed.
Most babies are born healthy. Delivered in a hospital, a birthing center, a home, or even a stable, they are bundled up, fed, loved, and go on to grow up with few or no complications.
In those cases where a newborn arrives with a medical condition that requires treatment, however, these tiny patients face greater risks than any adult or even an older child. One of the greatest risks faced by newborn patients is getting an infection. In fact, hospital-acquired infections are one of the leading cause of infant morbidity and mortality in neonatal intensive care units.
Sometimes a product comes along that breaks the paradigm. It is so innovative and unexpected that attempts to fit it into an existing market category are impossible. When that happens, a new category must be created to accommodate the new technology. This is the case with surfaces that actively kill bacteria*. They're not a cleanser, per se. They're not really a device, either. What are they? Enter Preventive|Biocidal SurfacesTM.
Photos from around the country show healthcare and frontline workers receiving the first COVID-19 vaccines, their smiles and confidence becoming a light at the end of what has been a very dark tunnel. With two vaccines currently available, and more in the near future, it seems like a return to normal life is finally within grasp. But just what will need to be achieved in order to return once more to the pre-pandemic world? In today's post, we'll look at the basics: Who will get the vaccine? When will it be available? Where are the vaccines going? What can we expect?
Copper is the oldest-known metal used by humankind to make tools and decorations, helping form the transition from the Stone Age to the Bronze Age. After millennia of using wood, stones, and animal bones, copper transformed the abilities of early peoples, pushing them to invent ore smelting, mining, and metalworking. As a result of these skills honed over generations, cultures around the world took the next step, combining metal ores to create harder metals, such as bronze, a combination of copper and tin. What is special about copper, and how will it take us to the next level in healthcare safety?
A few years ago, the first rumblings were starting over the use, and possible overuse, of antimicrobials in interior furnishings and materials. As Medicare pressures made the need for improved infection control practices become urgent to every hospital, materials manufacturers from flooring to ceiling tiles began producing new lines of “antimicrobial” products. Everything from paint to carpet to caulk to privacy curtains suddenly were infused with chemicals purporting to give these materials antimicrobial properties. But as researchers began to look into the effect of these products, one thing became clear: There is little to no evidence that these chemical additives have a positive impact on infection, and may in fact present a risk to the health of hospitals staff and patients. But one type of product was singled out as specifically not being banned: The use of copper-infused materials. First, why are these hospitals banning antimicrobials? And second, why are they specifically not banning copper?
We spend a good amount of time on this blog discussing the new uses of the biocidal properties of copper. We look to the past civilizations that used copper to kill bacteria without knowing the mechanisms behind it - the Ancient Egyptians who used copper in wounds, the Ancient Greeks who used it in plumbing, and the seafaring explorers who used it to store drinking water. But there is actually a far, far more ancient use of copper to combat infection: Our own innate immune system.
In population science, R stands for how much a population is reproducing. If R is greater than 1, it's growing. If it is 1, it's stable. If it's below 1, it will eventually die out. This applies to populations of people and other living things but it is also a useful model in epidemiology, to track the spread of a disease. The basic reproductive number R0, or "r-naught", for an infectious disease is an average of how many people one infected individual can infect over the course of the disease. But thanks to human interventions, the reproduction of a disease is not set in stone. There is a reproductive number that demonstrates what we, the population, can do to bring that R0 down. This is the effective R, or Re, the number of people who can be infected at one time, in a given situation. In today's post, we'll look closer at this value and what it tells us as we enter the second wave of COVID-19.
This post is intended to provide historical background for some of today's medical treatments. It is not intended to provide medical advice or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.