23 Aug Innovative technology for combating harmful bacteria in hospitals.
SHG Hospitals in Völklingen test a pioneering product which is created by Nanopool GmbH, a Saarland based company.
Völklingen. According to estimates by experts, every year five percent of patients in German hospitals contract bacterial infections which are hazardous to health. If a patient’s immune system is weakened, this can have dangerous consequences. This problem is exacerbated as approximately 30% of bacteria no longer respond to antibiotic treatment; especially methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) which has become an increasing challenge to hospital hygiene everywhere.
In cooperation with Nanopool, (a company from Schwalbach which is engaged in pan-European activities within the healthcare sector) SHG-Clinics in Völklingen have started to address the problem of bacterial infection by using a highly innovative technology.
Nanopool’s patented process, based on the application of an invisible layer of glass to surfaces in the hospital, inhibits the formation of bacteria on surfaces where historically there is a high rate of propagation. Surfaces such as bedside tables, patient’s beds, door handles, light switches and associated surfaces experience a high frequency of direct and indirect “person to person contact” in hospitals. During a field test, some of the mentioned surfaces were protected with a layer of liquid glass and tested for bacteria after several days. The test evidenced showed a reduction of bacteria, in some cases the reduction was greater than 50 percent.
Nanopool’s managing director, Sascha Schwindt is convinced that the technology offers significant benefits: “with the consistent deployment of our technology the propagation of bacteria can be lowered both substantially and sustainably”. Intensive field tests of Nanopool’s “Liquid Glass Systems” have already been successfully conducted in cooperation with the National Health Service (NHS) in British hospitals.
The British hospital trial will now be repeated in Germany for the first time, at the SHG-hospitals, (Völklingen) in order to verify the methodology and excellent results which were gained in the UK. It will show whether the reduced propagation of bacteria will lead to a decrease in hospital-acquired infections. In order for the results to be statistically valid, a previously defined protocol has to be adhered to. The trial will be monitored by the Commissioner of Sanitation and a hygiene specialist.
It is also important to note that as well as reducing the propagation of bacteria this technology creates easy to clean surfaces which enhance the clean-ability of the hospital. This characteristic ensures that the application of the coatings offers additional economic benefits.
Stainless-steel surfaces in the reception area of the “central sterile-goods supply department”, which is in process of certification, have been treated with liquid glass. Floors on wards and lifts have also been protected. The technology will also be used in the clinic’s five new operating theatres.
“We strive to achieve the highest possible hygiene standards throughout the hospital for the benefit of our patients. This also includes the protection from MRSA-bacteria”, emphasizes Gabriele Haser, director of administration. “The first trial results sounded promising. It has also been confirmed that surfaces treated with liquid glass are considerably easier to clean and stay clean for a longer period of time”. Mr Haser also noted that “this is a definitely welcome additional possibility of use”.
Dr. Franz Hausinger, Head Physician in the Saar region’s Cardiac Centre and Commissioner of Sanitation in hospitals, looks forward to the new trials: “In fact, we already have low hospital-acquired infection rates. Even so, every new infection that can be prevented is worth investigating. It would be ideal if the infection rates from one patient to another could be eliminated.
Innovative technology for combating harmful bacteria in hospitals