There is a void in our everyday infection prevention practices. With healthcare associated infections causing nearly 100 000 deaths annually and costing the healthcare system billions, we simply can’t afford to ignore soft surface bacterial management. We need to think about strategies to reduce the potential transfer of bacteria from soft surfaces to patients.
Soft surface textiles, like other environmental surfaces, play an important role in the transmission of bacteria in the healthcare setting.
They have been proven to act as “fomites” where organisms can grow and multiply. Even though soft surfaces constitute 90% of the patient healthcare environment, they are often overlooked in everyday infection prevention practices.
The potential for survival and spread of pathogens to and from humans and clothing, linens, or curtains is shown by various operational and laboratory studies. “Besides international studies, Silverguard have undertaken a number of in-vivo and in-vitro studies in prominent SA private and public tertiary facilities,” said Silverguard CEO Tony Lundin. “In one example, after a burns patient had developed diarrhoea, the privacy curtain had accumulated 63 000 colony forming units due to continuous touching, which had reduced to 20 CFU’s 90 minutes later, proving the antimicrobial efficacy of X-Static silver on the curtain.”
According to Valerie Shanahan, Hospital Director, eMalahleni Private Hospital: “Whilst we have a number of robust initiatives in place to combat infection, cubicle curtains remain a challenge and it is not practical, nor cost effective to launder them daily, that’s why we opted for Silverguard’s antimicrobial curtain solution. In addition to the infection prevention benefits for our patients and staff, enhanced reputation of being at the forefront of optimising the use of proven soft surface infection prevention technology, we also enjoy cost savings from reduced laundering as the antimicrobial properties continue to erode bacteria. This compliments our overall strategy to enhance patient care, quality outcomes and cost efficiencies.”
“To create a more clinically clean environment and enhance standard of care and safety for our patients and staff,” said Dischem Stay Well Clinics Category Manager Lizeth Kruger, “in our 163 in-store Stay Well Clinics we will be introducing Silverguard’s antimicrobial linen range, patient gowns, and our nursing professionals will be wearing our customised, stylish uniform tops manufactured out of antimicrobial fabric.” This creates a clinically safe setting adopting a silver room environment, complementing our culture of an organisation who demonstrates real care.
Using pure metallic silver permanently woven into the fabric has been proven to last for the lifespan of the product. Within 4 hours of the fabric making contact with the bacteria, 99.9% of the organisms will be eliminated. The technology ensures no behavioural modification is required by staff.