hygiene

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Radiographers in Spain report

Equipment hygiene: taking back center stage during the COVID-19 pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic is putting extra pressure on radiology services. Radiographers are particularly at risk of catching and spreading the disease. This is why they must follow strict cleaning and disinfection protocols, according to Pablo Valdés Solís, President of the Spanish Society of Radiology (SERAM), who has just published new guidelines on how to protect staff and patients, as the…

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Cultural differences matter

Study shows: Hand washing is key against COVID-19

Countries where people do not have a habit of washing their hands automatically tend to have a much higher exposure to coronavirus, a new study reveals. University of Birmingham researchers have discovered that at least 50% of people do not have a habit of automatic handwashing after using the toilet in China (77%), Japan (70%), South Korea (61%) and the Netherlands (50%). These countries are…

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SARS-CoV-2 durability

New coronavirus can remain stable for hours on surfaces

The virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is stable for several hours to days in aerosols and on surfaces, according to a new study from National Institutes of Health, CDC, UCLA and Princeton University scientists in The New England Journal of Medicine. The scientists found that severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) was detectable in aerosols for up to three…

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COVID-19 longevity

How long can the coronavirus persist on surfaces?

How long can coronavirus persist on surfaces such as door handles or hospital nightstands? How can the virus be destroyed effectively? A research team from Greifswald and Bochum, Germany, collected the answers scientists can currently offer to these and other pertinent questions and published them in the Journal of Hospital Infection. These days, the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 (formerly known…

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COVID-19 infection control

Combatting the novel coronavirus with thorough hand hygiene

WHO Chief Adhanom Ghebreyesus has declared the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) a global health emergency. He said the decision was reached not because of the situation in China, but because of, “what is happening in other countries.” On Feb. 17, the number of infections totaled around 71,000 globally based on data of the WHO. COVID-19 – the official shorthand name of the novel corona virus…

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Significant improvement in cleaning, disinfection and sterilisation

Surgical robots must also be hygienic

Modern healthcare without hand hygiene? Inconceivable – particularly in the operating room (OR). But what happens when it is not the surgeon who handles the scalpel, but a robot? Robotic surgery, just like surgery performed by humans, always carries a risk of microbial transmission to the patient, says Professor Johannes K-M Knobloch of University Hospital Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE). A specialist…

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Where are the infectiologists?

‘The hygiene plan is nothing but a fig leaf’

Nosocomial infections cause more deaths than traffic accidents – a stunning discovery made in a recent German study. Worse: infectious diseases long thought eradicated in Europe, such as measles, tuberculosis (TB) and, more recently, syphilis, are also implicated. The increasing number of patients places an additional financial burden on healthcare. But – and this might be the good news –…

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Smarter surer cleanliness

Electronic monitoring of hand hygiene

‘Electronic monitoring systems are proven to assist healthcare institutions to make sustained improvements in hand hygiene compliance.’ [Scheithauer S, et al. Do WiFi-based hand hygiene dispenser systems increase hand hygiene Compliance? American Journal of Infection Control (2018)]. ‘Using these systems,’ adds the manufacturer Ophardt Hygiene, ‘a continuous stream of objective data is…

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Minimising infection risk

Drying in endoscope reprocessing: Essential to patient safety

In practice, the drying of the endoscope is often underestimated and therefore a possible pitfall for hygiene and reprocessing steps. As the importance of endoscopic retrograde cholangio-pancreatography (ERCP) procedures and their impact on patients’ lives remains unwavering, the medical community is continuously looking for ways to improve this field of expertise. What better way to learn more…

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'Pepe' for pupils' hygiene

Handwashing robot helps schoolkids break bad habits

A robot which encourages kids to wash their hands has helped pupils at a remote Indian primary school take a fresh approach to hygiene. The hand-shaped robot, dubbed ‘Pepe’, is the product of a collaboration between researchers from the University of Glasgow in Scotland and Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham University in India. Pepe was mounted to the wall above a handwashing station at the Wayanad…

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Disinfection

Why rigorous hygiene practices are vital

Nosocomial infections present enormous challenges for medical facilities, involving huge hygiene efforts from staff, on patients as well as medical and non-medical products. At MedtecLIVE 2019, in Nuremberg, Susanne Harpel (Dipl. Ing), Deputy Head of the Institute for Hygiene and Environmental Medicine at Giessen/Marburg Univer­sity Hospital, presented desirable contamination efforts during the…

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Microbiology

Resistance can spread without antibiotics use

Bacteria are becoming increasingly resistant to common antibiotics. Often, resistance is mediated by resistance genes, which can simply jump from one bacterial population to the next. It’s a common assumption that the resistance genes spread primarily when antibiotics are used, a rationale backed up by Darwin's theory: only in cases where antibiotics are actually being used does a resistant…

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Microbiology & hygiene

HAIs are one problem – MDROs another

In view of the increase of multidrug-resistant organisms (MDRO), the World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared antibiotic resistance one of the biggest threats to global health. MDROs have become a major problem particularly in hospitals. Professor Dr Georg Häcker, President of the German Society of Hygiene and Microbiology (DGHM) and Director of the Institute for Microbiology and Hygiene at…

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Medical device hygiene

Limited time and storage space in endoscope reprocessing: A new perspective

In endoscope reprocessing, time and storage space are always limited. During the ESGE Days in Prague the IKEM hospital facilitated the live procedures and had to deal with an exceptionally high demand for endoscope reprocessing. Hana Kubecova, head nurse of their endoscopy department, explains how a new solution, the PlasmaTYPHOON, helped her team to deal with this high work load whilst still…

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Differentiate and select

Myths and truths about antibiotics, antiseptics and vaccination

Sixty-two percent of Germans fear antibiotic resistance, according to a survey recently conducted by the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment. ‘Patients colonised by multi-resistant pathogens are particularly scared. But many of these fears are rooted in misunderstandings,’ explained Professor Mathias Pletz at the Congress for Infectious Diseases and Tropical Medicine (KIT).

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Hospital hygiene

Nosocomial infections: a positive trend, but...

Hospital hygiene and how Germany compares in a European survey is somewhat divisive. Some believe Germany does well, whilst others emphasise the need to improve and for a stronger alignment with countries such as the Netherlands. As hygiene specialist Professor Petra Gastmeier, at the Institute of Hygiene and Environmental Medicine in Charité University Medical Centre Berlin, pointed out:…

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Infection control

Knowledge is one thing - implementation another

Insufficient knowledge of infection control, resulting in insufficient compliance, increases the risk of hospital acquired infections (HAIs) and multiresistant pathogens that put patients at risk. At the 2019 Annual General Meeting of the German Society for Hygiene and Microbiology e.V. (DGHM) in Göttingen, Professor Frauke Mattner, Senior Consultant at the Institute of Hygiene, Kliniken der…

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MRSA

Decolonization protocol can prevent dangerous infections

Antiseptic soap, mouthwash, and nose ointment after hospital discharge reduced infections and infection-associated hospitalizations due to MRSA in high-risk patients. Hospital patients who have methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) can prevent future MRSA infections by following a standard bathing protocol after discharge. The Changing Lives by Eradicating Antibiotic Resistance, or…

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Interdisciplinary

Exploring the human microbiome

During the International Forum for Laboratory Medicine, one seminar focused on infectious diseases. Professor André Gessner, from the Medical Microbiology and Hygiene Department at Regensburg University, lectured on ‘The human microbiome, an explosive ‘climate’ topic,’ he explained.

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Hospital hygiene

Will resistant bacteria be the end of alcohol hand sanitizers?

Alcohol-based hand sanitisers have been a mainstay in hospital hygiene for decades. But now, strains of antibiotic-resistant bacteria show signs of overcoming these handwashing agents as well. Does this mean we should just stop sanitising our hands? Not so fast, say researchers from Melbourne – however, hospitals now need to re-think their strategies to protect their patients from deadly…

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Air disinfection and purification device

Closing the infection control loop

Novaerus, an Irish company specialising in non-chemical air disinfection using patented ultra-low energy plasma, announced the launch of the Defend 1050, a portable, easy to use device ideal for rapid disinfection and purification of the air in large spaces and high-risk situations such as operating theatres, ICUs, IVF labs, emergency and waiting rooms, and construction zones.

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Benefits of country life

Kids with pets, rural upbringing become stress-resilient adults

Children raised in a rural environment, surrounded by animals and bacteria-laden dust, grow up to have more stress-resilient immune systems and might be at lower risk of mental illness than pet-free city dwellers, according to new research published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). The study, co-authored by researchers from the University of Ulm in Germany…

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Hygiene and microbiology meeting

No all clear for nosocomial infections

Experts at the 70th Annual Meeting of the German Society for Hygiene and Microbiology, held in Bochum, exchanged information on newly discovered resistances. ‘Specifically, resistance against a class of antibiotics that has, so far, always been viewed as a reserve appears to be developing more intensively than previously assumed,’ explained Professor Sören Gatermann, congress president and…

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Education

The nurse’s role in endoscopic procedures

Hygiene is still a leading topic in endoscopy, and education remains crucial in Europe, according to Ulrike Beilenhoff, scientific secretary of the European Society of Gastroenterology and Endoscopy Nurses and Associates (ESGENA). The two subjects took centre stage during the 21st ESGENA Conference, held during UEG Week in Barcelona this October. With around 600 participants, lectures, posters,…

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