Elaine Waggott, director of Operations for Angel Guard and Water Kinetics, and a former head of the Business Development team for Ideal Standard/Armitage Shanks, discusses some of the key risks posed by aerosol transmission of harmful pathogens.
Elaine Waggott, director of Operations for recently established water hygiene/safety product manufacturers, Angel Guard and Water Kinetics (HEJ – February 2020), and a former head of the Business Development team within Scotland for Ideal Standard/Armitage Shanks, discusses some of the key risks posed by aerosol transmission of harmful pathogens, and in particular their part in healthcare-acquired infections.
The need to reduce the risks of splashing and airborne pathogenic aerosol has never been more important. In the wake of COVID-19, recent research findings have started to confirm what many already suspected – that COVID-19 acts like many existing pathogens in the ways it can be transmitted via waterborne particles and poor hand hygiene. Unacceptable levels of sickness and deaths have long been associated with poor hand hygiene, close contact with infected people, and inadequate cleaning. In many countries, initiatives addressing education, and cleaning and audit, together with compulsory reporting of infections, have brought about benefits, leading (in some cases) to a reduction in headline rates of infections such as methicillinresistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), Clostridium difficile (C. difficile) and Legionnaires’ Disease. It is readily accepted now that a common mode of transmission is contact between the patient, the staff, and the environment.
Inappropriate hand hygiene practice has been identified as a significant contributor to numerous outbreaks. Several studies have shown the impact of improved hand hygiene on the risk of healthcareassociated infection and multi-resistant pathogen cross-transmission. To date, most studies have focused on MRSA.
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