Following the startling figures released yesterday by the Health Protection Agency (HPA) which showed a rise in E.coli and salmonella related infections, Ian Hancox, Product Manager at Construction Specialties (CS), states that hospitals must do more to protect vulnerable patients in their care.
BBC news* reported on Wednesday 23rd May that although rates of healthcare associated infections (HCI’s) have decreased from 8.2% in 2006 to 6.4% in 2011, HPA figures showed other infections such as E.coli – also known as coliforms – are on the increase.
Ian Hancox, commented on the news:
“103 hospital trusts were surveyed by the Health Protection Agency, covering more than 52,000 patients, about their HCI rates. It was found that a total of 3,360 patients (6.4%), had previously been diagnosed with a HCI and in a third of cases bacteria were the cause.
“Whilst it is positive to see that other figures for superbugs are coming down following the successful hand hygiene campaign by the Department of Health, it is clear that coliforms are a rising concern and must be tackled; an argument supported by other healthcare experts.
“As an industry, we must continue the excellent work already done to prevent infections such as MRSA spreading, and continue to improve the environments in which patients come for treatment and recovery.
“The key is to prevent the spread of bacteria from the outset which is simple to achieve through better hygiene standards and use of specialist products. These simple and relatively cost effective solutions when coupled with a thorough cleaning regime, can offer high protection throughout hospitals.
“Interior wall and door protection in the form of sheeting or specialist paint is an easy way to stop these types of bacteria from harvesting and in turn, will bring these worrying figures of infection down. Resilient against tough cleaning, these solutions can offer a durable finish and a high chemical resistance through a mix of non-leaching biocides that prevent the growth of bacteria.
“Whilst measures can be taken such as regular cleaning and more specifically, hand disinfectants, more consideration needs to be given to the internal environment of the hospital to prevent these types of bacteria from spreading, before they cause more illness.”