Tag Archives: environmental safety

Contaminated Bed Linens and Microbes

Federal health officials recently reported that at least two million Americans are infected every year by antibiotic-resistant bacteria, and at least 23,000 die from those infections (1). This harsh reality of hospital infections means that there is no doubting the importance of their control and prevention. Limiting the spread of infection will require novel infection control strategies. A key element of this strategy is to control the dispersal of microbes via contaminated bed linen, mattresses and other points of close contact with infected individuals (2).

As modern-day hospital infection control measures improve, there is an increased focus on bed linen and associated materials as possible sources of infection. Fijan and Turk (3), identify incidences of Staphylococcus aureusEnterococcus faeciumPseudomonas aeruginosa and Enterobacter aerogenes surviving temperatures of 60°C during standard washing processes. A study by Craemer and Humphries, (4) outlined many of the issues posed by inadequate cleaning of hospital beds. It was advocated that decontamination should be performed once a week in cases where patients were at a particular risk of infection. The optimal bed linen described was that which is easily washed and dried and has the lowest potential to harbour microorganisms. In addition, it is reaffirmed that pillows and mattresses warrant the greatest level of attention due to their proximity to patients undergoing care. The correct maintenance of storage presses and trolleys as part of any decontamination process is highlighted as an area that should also be considered as part of such a strategy.

A healthy individual is a reservoir of microbial contaminants that for the most part do not result in any adverse health effects. The innate and adaptive immune system combines with the physical barriers of the body to protect individuals from infection. As humans constantly shed skin, hair, saliva and sebaceous particles from their bodies in bed, the knock-on effect is the accumulation of microorganisms in bed linen. However, the development and persistence of dust mites and dust mite allergen (Der p 1 or Der f 1) in pillows is a major factor for people with immune hypersensitivity. It has been established that Der p 1 levels in house dust exceeding 2 µg/g are sufficient for eliciting an allergic/asthmatic response (5). In instances where an individual is immunocompromised, has an underlying infection, or has other predisposing factors such as asthma that make them susceptible to infectious diseases, the environment in which the person finds themselves may have a strong influence on their health.

The issues surrounding textiles in bedding and their role in reducing the risk of diminishing the health of individuals is not limited to the hospital setting. Recently, a national pillow health check performed in Ireland in conjunction with Gabriel Scientific and airmid healthgroup laboratories gave some indication as to the potential levels of contaminants present as we sleep. The study unveiled extremely high levels of bacteria and fungi in a selection of pillows that were analyzed. In addition, the concentration of dust mite allergen was found in some cases to be above the levels that have been demonstrated to elicit severe allergenic responses. Interestingly, a survey undertaken by those who submitted pillows for testing showed occurrences of contamination were frequently associated with factors such as the pillows being older, lower frequency of cleaning and reporting of poor sleep quality. While further research in this area is warranted to provide meaningful statistical correlations between contamination levels and the development and persistence of clinical manifestations, this work has strengthened the opinion that an improvement of an individual’s health may be enhanced by more frequent laundering of bed linen using better methods.

To view the article in its entirety, please click on the link below to be redirected:

https://www.airmidhealthgroup.com/resources-at-airmidhealthgroup/articles/742-contamination-of-bed-linen-factors-in-microbial-and-allergen-accumulation.html

 

To protect individuals from infection, the development of fabrics and textiles has led towards a more active means of preventing microbial growth. The practice of impregnating textiles with divalent cations such as silver or copper as a means to disrupt microbial membrane stability has been proposed as a solution, with claims of antifouling properties, odor control and prevention of topical infection (6, 7) The principal weakness of this technology is the leaching effect overtime during conventional washing of fabrics, depending on the manufacturing process, which may reduce the efficacy of such treatments (8). In addition, there is a growing body of evidence to suggest that this may pose an environmental risk as bioaccumulation of silver in aquatic life result in toxicity for marine life (9). Nevertheless, the application of such textile design and the development of new antimicrobial technologies could represent an invaluable tactic in controlling the spread of infections. Looking to the future, a combination of bed protection systems that are easily cleaned as well as the application of novel technologies in the construction of antimicrobial textiles could be one way in which the spread of infections is controlled.

About the author
John Fallon PhD is a Senior Microbiologist at airmid healthgroup, which helps clients with products and services related to residential and commercial indoor environments to differentiate their customer offerings through health-relevant marketing claims. Clients include Dyson Inc., LG Electronics, Stanley Steemer, Shaw Industries, Fellowes, Spring Air, Tarkett and Kenmore. airmid creates value for clients through a number of collaborative strategies, including field research projects, environmental test chamber studies and licensing our own intellectual property. airmid specializes in studying the relationship between allergens, viruses, bacteria, molds or other ultra-fine particles in the air and on surfaces to the spread of illness and disease in buildings. As a leading authority on biomedical and aerobiology research, they use this deep domain knowledge to improve products and services to make the indoor environment as healthy as possible. For more information, visit www.airmidhealthgroup.com.

References

  1. http://www.cdc.gov/drugresistance/threat-report-2013/
  2. Thilagavathi, G. and T. Kannaian, (2008). Dual antimicrobial and blood repellent finish for cotton hospital fabrics. Indian Journal of Fibre and Textile Research; 33: 23 – 29.
  3. Fijan, S. and S.S Turk, (2012). Hospital textiles, are they a possible vehicle for healthcare-associated infections? International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health; 9 (9): 3330 – 3343.
  4. Craemer, E. and H. Humphreys, (2008). The contribution of beds to healthcare-associated infection: the importance of adequate decontamination. Journal of Hospital Infection; 69 (1): 8-23.
  5. Platts-Mills, T.A., Vervloet, D., Thomas, W.R., Aalberse, R.C. and M.D. Chapman, (1997). Indoor allergens and asthma: report of the Third International Workshop. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology; 100 (6): S1 – S24.
  6. Borkow, G. and Gabbay, J. (2004). Putting Copper into Action: Copper-impregnated Products with Potent Biocidal Activities. FASEB Journal; 18(14): 1728-1730.
  7. Haug, S., Roll, A., Schmid-Grendelmeier, P., Johansen, P. Wüthrich, B. Kündig, T. and G. Sent, (2006). Coated Textiles in the Treatment of Atopic Dermatitis. Current problems in dermatology; 33: 144 – 151.
  8. Benn, T.M and P. Westerhoff, (2008). Nanoparticle silver released into water from commercially available sock fabrics. Environmental Science and Technology; 42 (11): 4133 – 4139.
  9. Mathivanan, V., Ananth, S. Ganesh Prabu, P. and Selvisabhanayakam, (2012). Role of silver nanoparticles: behavior and effects in the aquatic environment – a review. International Journal of Research in Biological Sciences; 2 (2): 77 – 82

Thanks and Appreciation To Our Guests For Joining Us On C. diff. Spores And More Season II

ThankYouInkPen

As Season II concludes, we wish to take this opportunity to sincerely thank each
and every guest for taking time out of their
busy schedule and joining us on Tuesday’s at
10:00a Pacific Time / 1:00p Eastern Time over the past seven months.

C. diff. Spores and More Global Broadcasting Network will be taking a break and will return to live broadcasting on  January 17th, 2017 with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) leading the way with our guest
Dr. Katherine Fleming-Dutra, Medical Officer, CDC’s Office of Antibiotic Stewardship.

A Prescription for Over-Prescribing: The Key to Fighting
Antibiotic Resistance

Dr. Fleming-Dutra is a medical epidemiologist with the Office of Antibiotic Stewardship in the Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion at the Centers Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Dr. Fleming-Dutra is a pediatrician and pediatric emergency medicine physician and has focused on infectious diseases epidemiology and antibiotic stewardship in the outpatient setting in her career at CDC.

Join Dr. Fleming-Dutra as she discusses a recent study published by the Journal of the American Medical Association, was released showing that at least 30 percent of all prescriptions written in doctors’ offices and emergency rooms are completely unnecessary. So how do we use these alarming results to transform the culture of over-prescribing Dr. Katherine Fleming-Dutra, M.D., will:

  • Give a detailed explanation of the study results, and provide an in-depth review of specific findings;
  • Highlight what CDC is doing to promote antibiotic stewardship across healthcare settings, and
  • Identify what clinicians, other health care professionals, and patients can do to improve antibiotic prescribing, therefore fighting antibiotic resistance.

 

C diff Radio™ Live Broadcast AND Podcasts

cdiffRadioLogoMarch2015C. diff. Spores and More Global Broadcasting Network™

  brought to you by VoiceAmerica and
sponsored by Clorox Healthcare

An educational program that is dedicated to  C. difficile Infections  and more–

 

Click On The LOGO  Above And Enjoy Listening To the Live Broadcasts In the C. diff. Spores and More Podcast Library.

 

Live Broadcast airs
on Tuesdays at:    10a PT,    11a MT,   12p CT,    1p ET

We are pleased to share  “C. diff. Spores and More ™”  with you because, as advocates of  C. diff.,  we know the importance of this cutting-edge new weekly radio show  and what it means for our Foundation’s community worldwide.–

Hard Facts: Deaths and illnesses are much higher than reports have shown. Nearly half a million Americans suffered from Clostridium difficile (C. diff.) infections in a single year according to a study released today, February 25, 2015, by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

• More than 100,000 of these infections developed among residents of U.S. nursing homes.

Approximately 29,000 patients died within 30 days of the initial diagnosis of a C. diff. infection. Of these 29,000 – 15,000 deaths were estimated to be directly related to a
C. diff. infection. Therefore; C. diff. is an important cause of infectious disease death in the U.S.

♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦
Previous studies indicate that C. diff. has become the most common microbial cause of Healthcare-Associated Infections found in U.S. hospitals driving up costs to $4.8 billion each year in excess health care costs in acute care facilities alone. Approximately
two-thirds of C. diff. infections were found to be associated with an inpatient stay in a health care facility, only 24% of the total cases occurred in patients while they were hospitalized. The study also revealed that almost as many cases occurred in nursing homes as in hospitals and the remainder of individuals acquired the
Healthcare-Associated infection, C. diff., recently discharged from a health care facility.

This new study finds that 1 out of every 5 patients with the Healthcare-Associated Infection (HAI), C. diff., experience a recurrence of the infection and 1 out of every 9 patients over the age of 65 diagnosed with a HAI – C. diff. infection died within 30 days of being diagnosed. Older Americans are quite vulnerable to this life-threatening diarrhea infection. The CDC study also found that women and Caucasian individuals are at an increased risk of acquiring a C. diff. infection. The CDC Director, Dr. Tom Frieden, MD, MPH said, “C. difficile infections cause immense suffering and death for thousands of Americans each year.” “These infections can be prevented by improving antibiotic prescribing and by improving infection control in the health care system. CDC hopes to ramp up prevention of this deadly infection by supporting State Antibiotic Resistance Prevention Programs in all 50 states.”

“This does not include the number of C. diff. infections taking place and being treated in other countries.”  “The  C Diff Foundation supports hundreds of communities by sharing the Foundation’s mission and  raising C. diff. awareness to healthcare professionals, individuals, patients, families,  and communities working towards a shared goal ~  witnessing a reduction of newly diagnosed C. diff. cases by 2020 .”   ” The C Diff Foundation volunteer Advocates are greatly appreciated and continue to create positive changes by sharing their time  aiding in the success of our mission “Raising C. diff. awareness ™”  worldwide.

C. diff. Spores and More ™“ spotlights world renowned topic experts, research scientists, healthcare professionals, organization representatives, C. diff. survivors, board members, and their volunteers who are all creating positive changes in the
C. diff.
community and more.

Through their interviews, the C Diff Foundation mission will connect, educate, and empower listeners worldwide.

Questions received through the show page portal will be reviewed and addressed  by the show’s Medical Correspondent, Dr. Fred Zar, MD, FACP,  Dr. Fred Zar is a Professor of Clinical Medicine, Vice HeZarPhotoWebsiteTop (2)ad for Education in the Department of Medicine, and Program Director of the Internal Medicine Residency at the University of Illinois at Chicago.  Over the last two decades he has been a pioneer in the study of the treatment of Clostridium difficile disease and the need to stratify patients by disease severity.

 

Take our show on the go…………..download a mobile app today

www.voiceamerica.com/company/mobileapps

healthwellnesshealth (2)

 

CloroxHealthcare_72

Programming for C. diff. Spores and More ™ is made possible through our official Corporate Sponsor;  Clorox Healthcare

We look forward to sharing time with our worldwide listeners when we return in January, Season III. 

Until then………………

We send out get-well wishes to everyone being treated for and recovering from a C. difficile infection and all wellness draining illnesses worldwide.

“None of us can do this alone – All of us can do this together!”

Clorox Healthcare launches new approach to environmental disinfection for healthcare

Clorox Healthcare, already known for its line of innovative hospital disinfectants, is now partnering with Ultraviolet Devices, Inc. (UVDI) to introduce the Clorox Healthcare™ Optimum-UV™ System

“Both Clorox Healthcare and UVDI understand the challenges faced by today’s hospitals and patient care facilities, and we share a commitment to providing healthcare professionals with optimal cleaning solutions,” said Matt Laszlo, Vice President and General Manager, Clorox Professional Products Company. “This partnership signifies the importance of and the need for a bundling of environmental surface solutions, so hospitals can take a more comprehensive approach to reduce the threat of infections among patients, staff and visitors. With the Clorox Healthcare™ Optimum-UV™ System, there is now a solution that works hand-in-hand with routine manual cleaning and disinfecting procedures to reduce the threat of infection.”

For full news release of Feb. 19th, 2014 please click on the following link:

http://investors.thecloroxcompany.com/releasedetail.cfm?ReleaseID=826455

 

Computer keyboards carry germs

 Research has shown that a computer’s keyboard can carry more bacteria than a toilet seat!   Cleaning the keys frequently will help eliminate harmful germs.  

(* Check with IT Department prior to cleaning a computer keyboard/keys belonging to an office/organization)

First, close all open applications, shut down windows, and then shut down the computer and unplug it, if possible.  

Turn the keyboard upside down and shake it in order to remove any debris.

Next, dip a cotton swab in rubbing alcohol and brush in between each of the keys

*  Follow office IT protocols for cleaning of computer keys/keyboards.  

You may also consider dipping a cotton cloth in alcohol and lightly run it over the tops of the keys to clean off the germs.  Once done, plug the device back in and this should help to keep the computer keys as good as new and germ – free.

* A safe EPA Registered non-bleach product “Steriplex SD” has been proven safe to be utilized
on computer keyboards/keys. It is a C. diff. sporicidal one step cleaner and disinfectant.

Image

Clorox Germicidal Bleach EPA Registered for killing C. diff spores.

First to Kill C. Difficile

Clorox® Germicidal Bleach was the first product to obtain federal and state EPA registration for killing Clostridium difficile spores on hard, nonporous surfaces when used as directed. This high-quality, hospital-use disinfectant kills a broad spectrum of microorganisms on surfaces such as exam tables, counter-tops, floors and hallway walls, as well as food-contact surfaces. 

3-minute C. Difficile spore claim has been registered by the Federal EPA and may not be available in all 50 states. Use as directed on precleaned hard, nonporous surfaces.
2 Based on EPA master labels 7/1/2012.

At 6.15% sodium hypochlorite, Clorox® Germicidal Bleach 96 fl. oz. bottle is more concentrated and has more kill claims than many bleach products on the market.

For the full Clorox Germicidal Bleach product line and information please click on the following link:  

http://www.cloroxprofessional.com/products/ultra-clorox-germicidal-bleach/at-a-glance/