Bacterial Infection Prevention

It takes three things for an infection to occur: a pathogen, a vulnerable person, and a means of transmission. Unfortunately, hospitals are filled with all three. Numerous forms of invasive procedures, vulnerable patients whose immune systems are often busy with their own diseases, and hospital workers who regularly deal with contaminated fluids all combine to create an environment where pathogens can easily find new hosts to infect and multiply within.

In recent years, the rise of antibiotic resistant bacteria has further complicated efforts to keep patients safe. The overuse of antibiotics has bred dangerous and potentially fatal infections like methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), tuberculosis, and enterobacteria that conventional treatments are ineffective against.

The Hit List

There are over 200,000 hospital-associated infections (HAIs) every year. Hospital workers understand that they need to protect their patients from getting sicker under their care, but the task is easier said than done. These are just some of the pathogens that hospitals must contend with to ensure patients do not get additional infections:

Clostridium difficile:

A bacteria that inflames the colon and causes diarrhea and fever.

Gram-negative bacteria:

A collection of resistant bacteria that are known for pneumonia, blood poisoning, wound infection, and meningitis. This includes E. coli and pseudomonas, among others.

Hepatitis:

Unsafe injection practices and reuse of needles can spread this liver disease to patients and healthcare workers alike.

Influenza:

The flu can be spread by droplets or contaminated surfaces, especially during peak season when more people visit their doctors.

MRSA:

This is a type of resistant staph bacteria that can cause potentially life-threatening skin infections.

Norovirus:

A durable group of viruses that cause gastroenteritis and can spread quickly in an enclosed setting like a hospital or cruise ship.

As each infection can be spread by different means, there is no universal method of stopping all HAIs. To use needles for example, simply employing safe storage or avoiding reuse is not enough. Should a syringe be in contact with a contaminated surface like a counter (or possibly the doctor’s own gown), it can pick up pathogens that are transferred to the patient. More proactive methods are needed to ensure proper sanitation and safety. This is why copper alloy surfaces are becoming adopted as a potent antimicrobial solution.

The Power of Copper

Copper’s antimicrobial properties are not a revolutionary new discovery. It has been used to sterilize water and wounds since the time of ancient Egypt. Today, this mechanism is better understood and can be harnessed with the latest biotechnology to create surface sprays that turn former beds of contamination into pathogen-free environments. Aereus Technologies has developed and patented a Aereus Shield™, which can kill 99.9% of bacteria within the first hour of contact. This protection extends beyond routine cleaning and sanitizing steps to create a successfully sterile environment.