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Infection control and technology in microbe-enriched environments

02 August 2019
3 min read
Volume 30 · Issue 8

Abstract

George Winter provides an overview of recent studies that have evaluated hygiene in clinical settings. As good personal and environmental hygiene can save lives, it is important for practice nurses to know what changes and developments are being made in this area

Around 24 million square metres of NHS premises are cleaned every day – the equivalent of approximately 3360 football pitches (Carding, 2019). Although that implies a lot of cleaning, it is worth noting that individuals release their own personalised microbial clouds, shedding about 10 million particles (>0.5 μm diameter) every hour, many of which will harbour bacteria that contribute to the microbial load of buildings (Meadow et al, 2015).

With microbe-enriched environments being the rule rather than the exception in healthcare, where patients and health professionals are in close proximity to each other, the possibility of cross-infection must be minimised. This requires implementing practices in relation to hand hygiene – the single most effective infection control measure – and personal protective equipment (NHS England and NHS Improvement, 2019).

‘With microbe-enriched environments being the rule rather than the exception in healthcare, where patients and health professionals are in close proximity to each other, the possibility of cross-infection must be minimised. This requires implementing practices in relation to hand hygiene – the single most effective infection control measure – and personal protective equipment’

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