Cross contamination, nosocomial infections and the importance of using EcoCuff® single-patient cuffs
One of the best options for reducing hospital costs, cross-contamination and environmental impact is the FlexiPort® EcoCuff® single-patient cuff solution.
Cross contamination has always been one of the major concerns of hospital managers, social health centers and doctors. That is, from any health center. Although this type of contamination is especially relevant in hospitals, it also occurs in many social, labor and leisure areas.
Focusing on its impact on health , cross-contamination is the main cause of nosocomial or intrahospital infections among patients, professionals, and visitors.
In this new Equimed post , we want to talk about the impact of both hospital cross-contamination and nosocomial infections, and how the hospital equipment represented by the FlexiPort EcoCuff single-patient cuff can be so useful for health centers.
What is hospital cross contamination?
This cross-contamination is specifically the transmission of diseases due to the incorrect handling of food, substances, cleaning elements, products, phytosanitary elements, etc. These, when inappropriately crossed, can spread bacteria that cause fever, vomiting, intoxication, gastroenteritis or other conditions in patients.
Cross- contamination in hospitals usually occurs when microorganisms reach the product through work surfaces or utensils, or through the hands of health personnel, for not complying with cleaning and disinfection protocols.
Therein lies the relevance and the need to avoid cross-contamination in hospitals or health centers: it is nosocomial infections.
What are nosocomial infections?
According to the WHO, these are infections contracted by a patient during their treatment in a hospital or other health center and that said patient did not have or was not incubating at the time of admission. These infections must be related to hospitalization or procedures performed in the hospital.
How do these infections occur? By contact with the skin, by air, when microorganisms are dispersed by means of small droplets that can remain in the air for long periods of time, or by blood.
The most frequent nosocomial infections are those derived from an operation, surgical infection, urinary or catheter infection, or multi-resistant infections, those that require special surveillance.
It should be remembered that acquiring an infection in the hospital is common , since patients and health personnel live daily with many sick people and those undergoing antibiotic treatment. In this way, some of the main factors that can cause an infection are:
- Imbalance of the bacterial flora of the skin and the organism.
- Decrease in the immune system of the hospitalized person, either due to the disease or the use of medications.
- Perform invasive procedures such as placement of a catheter, heart rate monitors, thermometers, placement of probes, biopsies, endoscopies, surgeries, etc. that break or come into contact with the protective barrier of the skin.
Most frequent nosocomial infections
The most common types of nosocomial infections in hospitals are:
- Pneumonia: Serious in nature, it is more common in people who are hospitalized or who have difficulty swallowing.
- Urinary infection.
- Skin infection: They are the most common.
- Blood infection: Septicemia usually arises after infection of some region of the body that ends up spreading through the bloodstream. It is serious and must be treated properly so as not to cause multiple organ failure.
Who is at higher risk?
Although anyone can develop a nosocomial infection, they are the elderly, newborns, people with compromised immunity (AIDS, post-transplantation, use of immunosuppressive drugs), people with poorly controlled Diabetes Mellitus, bedridden people or with altered awareness, vascular diseases with compromised circulation, patients with the need to use invasive devices or surgeries, those who assume the greatest risk due to having an immune system that is not as strong.
What are the most common sources of cross contamination in hospitals?
- Items found in hospital kitchens.
- Hands, which are a means of transporting germs.
- Medical tools and surgical instruments.
- Stop trolley and instrument tray.
- Keyboards, computers and phones.
- Textile surfaces and hospital clothing.
- Patient environment.
- Medical reports and records.
- Adhesive tapes and dressing material.
- Diagnostic equipment.
Recommendations and measures to avoid nosocomial infections
Controlling and reducing cross contamination to avoid nosocomial infections and the much feared cross contamination is essential.
Most of these cases could be avoided with preventive measures, as well as with the continuous improvement of clinical practices. Here, human waste management and disposal systems and others with single-use devices, such as ECOCUFF single-patient cuffs, can help prevent contagion, both in patients, family members, and health professionals.
The truth is that hospitals are saddled with this complicated task of treating sick patients while maintaining and preventing the spread of infection to other patients, staff and visitors.
Hospital staff are the first to follow infection prevention protocols. According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), each day, about 1 in 31 hospitalized patients have at least one hospital-acquired infection—approximately two million patients per year. Of them, 90,000 end up dying.
What measures and recommendations should be taken?
These are the main ones:
- Design a clear and general policy for the control of cross contamination, and improve compliance with precautions, including detection policies and decontamination strategies.
- Minimize environmental contamination by cleaning and disinfecting daily, supervising the processes and evaluating the results.
- Restrict the storage of medical equipment and materials.
- Educate staff and patients on communicable disease issues, control areas, handwashing, sterilization, disinfection, and cross contamination.
- Monitor the actions of maintenance personnel in the hospital.
- Combat bacterial resistance through the rational use of antibiotics.
- Check the health of employees periodically, take into account post-exposure prophylaxis, vaccination against Hepatitis B and influenza.
- Exceptional hand hygiene. Gloves are not a substitute for proper hand hygiene and there may be contamination when we remove them.
- Follow cleaning and disinfection protocols of each health center.
- Use appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) by health personnel.
- Use single-use products whenever possible and appropriate: In many cases, hospitals have single-use products that are thrown away after treating a patient and can reduce the risk of cross-contamination. Gloves are one of the most obvious, but there are others that are also very important. This is the case of the FlexiPort® EcoCuff ® single-patient blood pressure cuffs.
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The FlexiPort® EcoCuff® single-use cuff
As we can see, any instrument, material or surface that has come into contact with the patient is susceptible to the accumulation of a large number of germs. This is the case of blood pressure monitors, heart rate monitors, cuffs to take the pulse, etc.
Traditional single patient use cuff solutions can be expensive, useless and difficult to implement. That’s why the innovative EcoCuff design helps hospitals reduce the risk of cross-contamination with technology that makes it simple to implement a single-use cuff model for a patient, while helping to control costs and environmental impact. of the hospital.
These sleeves also reduce the hospital’s environmental impact. And it is that at the level of sustainability, they represent a great solution, since they are designed with materials that represent an environmental impact 60% less than traditional disposable sleeves . In addition, they are recyclable, because they have not been made with natural rubber latex.
FlexiPort® EcoCuff® cuffs are designed with materials that have 60% less environmental impact than traditional disposable cuffs.
What are its features and advantages?
The innovative EcoCuff design helps hospitals reduce the risk of cross-contamination with technology that simplifies implementation of a single-patient cuff model.
Blood pressure cuffs are prone to carrying bacteria, so you can reduce cases of cuff-derived cross-contamination by implementing a single-patient protocol at your facility.
FlexiPort technology allows a cuff to be used in virtually any patient care setting without “Y” tubes or other confusing connectors. The simple fitting of the connector makes connecting FlexiPort cuffs to any blood pressure equipment easier than ever.
- Thanks to its polypropylene composition and the use of lighter materials and in fewer quantities than traditional single-patient blood pressure cuffs, the EcoCuff cuff can reduce the environmental impact of each health facility. In fact, life cycle analyzes show an environmental impact of less than 60% compared to other traditional sleeves.
- With its four available sizes, it fits at least 90% of the patient population in Europe.
- Its exclusive slot placement system helps to avoid inflation problems and incorrect use of the cuff, which would lead to errors of up to 30mmHg in the readings.
- Durable enough to be used throughout the patient’s stay.
- FlexiPort® EcoCuff® Single Patient Blood Pressure Cuffs have a useful life of up to 100 measurements per patient.
If you would like more information about FlexiPort EcoCuff single-use cuffs, or request a personalized quote, do not hesitate to contact Equimed.