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Hospital Healthcare Europe
Hospital Healthcare Europe

Infection prevention with area decontamination

18 April, 2012  

World Health Organization recognises healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) as a major cause of death and illness among hospitalised patients.

Additional measures are called for to improve the situation and there is now technology available to help fight HAIs. More and more healthcare providers use area decontamination as part of their infection prevention efforts and report improved infection rates as a result.

Arrowe Park is an 850-bed hospital located in Liverpool, North West England, successfully utilising area decontamination to combat infection. Initially, Arrowe Park had a high level of environmental bioburden. Microbiological testing identified a number of different strains of C. difficile (C. diff), including the hard to eradicate ribotype 027. Unfortunately, traditional cleaning methods were not effective at reducing the number of C. diff spores.

“By early 2010, the number of C. diff cases reported was fluctuating,” explained Andrea Ledgerton, lead nurse for infection prevention and control at the hospital trust. “Despite trying a number of different cleaning methods, we were not effective at reducing the number of C. diff spores and levels started to rise.” This resulted in lost bed days, with the obvious financial implications to the trust.

By June 2010, with the situation becoming acute, the director of nursing and the chief executive of Arrowe Park hospital gave the go‑ahead to call in the managed service from Advanced Sterilization Products (ASP) – multiple GLOSAIR Area Decontamination Systems and a team of highly trained operatives. The response was immediate, with the ASP service on-site within 24 hours.

Patients were transferred to a decant ward and a terminal clean of the most problematic ward was carried out. Both cleaning and surface decontamination was completed within two days, and eleven GLOSAIR systems completed the decontamination process in just three hours.  It was so successful that the hospital developed a business case to purchase six GLOSAIR™ machines.

Once the hospital’s main ‘problem area’ was addressed, the medical and surgical areas were targeted and GLOSAIR is now used routinely on a preventative basis to retain low levels of HAI rates throughout the hospital.

“C. diff figures reduced significantly, with as few as two cases per month,” explains Andrea, “and this was during a time when we had other seasonal factors, such as flu and Norovirus, with all the related bed issues. After 12 months, against a target of 190 we had 120 cases and the original problematic ward went over 300 days without a case.” Less than six months later, against a target of 122, the hospital had only 35 cases.

The GLOSAIR technology uses a combination of a 5–6% concentration of hydrogen peroxide and silver cations to rapidly decontaminate areas requiring a reduced level of bioburden, without leaving toxic residues. The GLOSAIR technology offers optimised efficacy for a hospital setting, while being safe and convenient to use for the hospital staff. The machines ensure there is full traceability of the process.

Andrea explains: “Due to the reduction of C. diff cases, and taking into account the cost of bed days, antibiotics, lab testing and lost bed days, a dramatic cost saving has been made by the trust with the use of GLOSAIR Area Decontamination Systems. The most important aspect though is improved patient outcomes.”


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