Kalamazoo offers a way to limit cross contamination by integrating an additive, based on silver ions, into materials such as paper, moulding compounds, thermoplastics, laminates and paints
Maureen Bott, product and development manager at Kalamazoo Security Print, comments on the MRSA and solutions to combat the spread of it:.
"A recent Department of Health study showed that healthcare associated infection (HCAI) affects 8 percent of acute admissions to hospitals.
"These infections can delay discharge home by up to 11 days.
"For the NHS in England this represents a loss of 3.6 million bed days, with a projected cost of £1 billion a year.
"It is well documented that transmission occurs via direct skin-to-skin exposure and that bacteria can also be spread through coming into contact with objects carrying the germs.
"With potential contamination constantly present on hospital wards it is necessary to identify all areas that would benefit from more stringent policies.
"While doctors and nurses are extremely careful with hygiene nowadays, there can be times where patient's records carry MRSA or other similar superbugs to the next healthcare professional through contaminated notes or folders.
"It is therefore important that strict hygiene practices are put in place within hospitals and that these practices also cover patients' records and equipment such as record holders.
"Kalamazoo offers a solution to help limit potential incidents of cross contamination by integrating an additive, based on silver ions, into materials such as paper, moulding compounds, thermoplastics, laminates and paints in order to kill microbes on contact.
"The additive used by Kalamazoo, approved by the EPA, FDA and the EU biocide directive, was independently tested and verified by the Medical Institute for Microbiology at the University of Milan, the Virology Institute at the University of Catania, the SIK Institute in Gothenburg and LawLabs in Birmingham and clinical research showed that 99.9 percent of bacteria are killed within 24hours.
"It has been known for some time that silver is highly toxic to a wide range of bacteria and silver-based compounds have been used extensively in bactericidal applications.
"This antibacterial property of silver has caused great interest especially as new resistant strains of bacteria have become a serious problem in public health.
"Silver has been recognised for its antibacterial qualities for over 100 years and to use it specifically within the health industries allows for hygienic and safe products to be used which can aid the eradication of superbugs such as MRSA and VRSA.
"Cross contamination remains one of the main methods of spreading the bacteria.
"It not only occurs through healthcare professional-to-patient contact, diseases can also be picked up almost anywhere in hospitals and can even be caught by touching a door handle when going to the bathroom.
"Superbugs, including MRSA, pose a growing challenge in the health care sector and staff charged with combating this increasing problem need a whole armoury of defences to assist them in fighting the spread of MRSA and other easily transmitted diseases.
"Kalamazoo's products which have the additive already integrated include paper, which will help reduce transmission of superbugs when handling patient records, as well as the moulded plastic units that are attached to a patient's bed and desktop filing systems that are currently used at nursing stations.
"All these products can easily become contaminated hence the use of the additive.
"Situations can arise where patient records are completed carrying MRSA or other similar superbugs to the next healthcare professional reading the notes.
"It is therefore imperative that as well as having rigorous hygiene practices, the equipment used within hospitals is also resistant to these microbes, providing a clinically clean environment."