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More than one third of Americans personally affected by HCAIs, reveals survey
Survey results released on Tuesday reveal that 34% of Americans have, or know someone who has, acquired an infection after being exposed to germs during a hospital stay. Moreover, the survey found that 64% of Americans do not think they would be better protected from germs in the hospital than in their daily lives.
The findings underscore that healthcare-associated infections are affecting perceptions of the safety of healthcare facilities and that new technologies are needed to help protect patients from hospital germs, including superbugs such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), Pseudomonas aeruginosa (Pseudomonas) and E. coli. These superbugs can result in HCAIs, which occur in nearly two million patients each year and lead to extended hospital stays, additional healthcare costs and patient deaths.
The survey, which was conducted online by Harris Interactive on behalf of Advanced Sterilization Products (ASP), also found:
* Nearly 99% of Americans understand that the cleanliness of patient rooms has an impact on the spread of infections in hospitals.
* Americans are making decisions about where to receive hospital care based on where they perceive they will receive the safest care. In fact,
* 75% of Americans say it is more important to choose a hospital based on lower infection rates rather than on convenience when in a non-emergency situation.
* An overwhelming number (94%) of Americans would prefer seeking care at a hospital that uses the latest technology available for preventing the spread of infection.
"As a healthcare professional, I knew the infection statistics and took extra precautions but I was still powerless to prevent my 51-year-old sister from acquiring and dying from an HCAI," said Daphne Morgan, MSN, RN, CIC, as the results were announced. "Now, I am committed to working with healthcare facilities to employ new practices and technologies that strengthen infection prevention capabilities to offer patients safer environments."
According to the latest scientific research, contamination of the hospital environment, which includes hospital rooms and operating suites, plays an important role in the transmission of many superbugs that cause HCAIs. Superbugs MRSA and Pseudomonas are tough to eliminate and can continue to live on surfaces in the patient environment after standard cleaning. However, studies show healthcare facilities can reduce the number of pathogens in the hospital environment by introducing enhanced deep cleaning and disinfection protocols to augment manual cleaning practices.
ASP's Glosair Healthcare Environmental Decontamination is an innovative new disinfection technology that was designed specifically for the healthcare environment to deliver thorough environmental disinfection in a way that is safe for patients, healthcare staff and medical equipment.
Studies have shown hydrogen peroxide vapour decontamination devices, such as Glosair Systems, are effective at reducing surface contamination by pathogens in hospital rooms and operating suites and may be associated with a reduction in infection transmission. Glosair Systems work by creating a mist of approximately 5% hydrogen peroxide that is uniformly dispersed to disinfect all hard nonporous surfaces, including difficult-to-reach areas.
"Patients should not need to question the safety of the healthcare environment," says Dr. Utpal Khambholja, ASP's Medical Officer. "ASP is excited to introduce Glosair Healthcare Environmental Decontamination, which has been shown to be effective against pathogens that cause HCAIs. Glosair, when used to augment manual cleaning processes, can provide healthcare facilities and patients with increased confidence that the patient environment has been thoroughly disinfected against the many bacteria and viruses that cause HCAIs."
A recent study at Nottingham University Hospital in the UK used Glosair Systems in 11 rooms of its three elder-care wards and found that they successfully removed pathogens in high-risk clinical areas. Due to the effectiveness of the system, following the study, the Hospital adopted the technology as part of its routine infection control measures.
The technology is also used by Dorset County Hospital in England to help reduce its HCAI rates.
"These machines have helped us maintain a good standard of cleaning and manage a safe patient environment," says Paul Andrews, Housekeeping Manager, Dorset County Hospital. "We've achieved one of the lowest MRSA rates in the National Health System since adding Glosair Systems to our infection-prevention practices."
28th July 2011