50% Accuracy is not Acceptable

The COVID-19 tests we are using to detect the virus have an accuracy rate of 50%.  We are depending on Chinese tests to determine the presence of Coronavirus.  The last 4 tests approved by the FDA Emergency Use Act (EUA) were manufactured in China.  There are no tests currently made in the US.  The Chinese…

Read more

Americans are Spoiled

We live our lives doing exactly what we want whenever we want.  And then comes the pandemic. All of a sudden, we can’t leave home.  We have to wear a mask.  We can’t go to movies or concerts.  Even the beach is off limits. BUT… not everyone listens.  Do we not know the concequenses?  What…

Read more

COVID-19… Prevention and Disinfection

When preventing the further spread of the Novel Coronavirus, it is critical to listen to guidelines put forth by government protection agencies. According to the CDC, in the absence of an available vaccine against COVID-19, the best way to prevent against infection is to avoid exposure to the virus and take standard preventative actions to…

Read more

How to Implement Infection Prevention Measures in the Workplace

Protecting workers has always been a priority but since the outbreak of COVID-19 and more measures have been put in place to protect the workplace and the workers. OSHA recommends that employers implement new infection control practices to help prevent workers from infection. Frequent handwashing or using alcohol-based hand rubs that contain at least 60…

Read more

Can Staph Infections be Prevented in Contact Sports?

Dr. Robert Dimeff, director of primary care sports at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, says contact sports raise the potential for staph infections. The skin gets broken by a hit or a scratch and the bacteria gets in which leads to an infection. It has been reported that there have been outbreaks from wrestling…

Read more

Infection Preventionists: Too Much to Do, Too Little Time

How do Infection Preventionists (IP) do it all? Survey results of many IPs document the increasing tasks required by facility administration as well as federal and state authorities. Often, acute care facilities do not budget for enough personnel to carry out the responsibilities facing IPs. Some of the responsibilities include: Surveillance… which includes case findings, data…

Read more

Value in Reducing HAIs

Infection prevention is on the mind of just about everyone in healthcare but that doesn’t mean Infection Preventionist (IP) don’t have to show their programs have value. Promoting the value of infection prevention programs and securing the resources necessary to ensure the continued viability of such programs has become imperative for the IP.   In the…

Read more

Even the NBA Champs Can Get MRSA

A study was conducted by researchers to determine MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) colonization in asymptomatic athletes to estimate the risk for subsequent MRSA infection. About 1% of the population carries MRSA on their skin. They can also have the bacteria in their nasal cavity, on the groin or under arm area. The bacteria can be…

Read more

Dr. Michael Bell from CDC Talks Medical Devices and Infection Prevention

I attended the Atlanta chapter of APIC yesterday. Dr. Michael Bell from CDC gave a wonderful presentation titled Medical Devices and Infection Prevention. The information he provided was timely. There were several points he made that really caught my attention. Yes, because iGuard PPC has a solution/product that fits. One device he spoke a good…

Read more

A Weekend Talking About Bugs

I am attending the annual Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology conference in Charlotte this weekend. Having gone several years in a row, I will see a lot of friends. This is the 2nd year I am working with Pam Falk, APIC Consultant, at APIC LIVE an interactive donning & doffing presentation on…

Read more

Does exercise make you sick?

According to an article in “Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise” research data suggest that endurance athletes are at an increased risk for upper respiratory tract infection (URTI) during periods of heavy training and the 1- to 2-wk period after race events. The risk appears to be especially high during the time following marathon-type…

Read more

Disinfectants and Surface Compatibility Part 4

Continuing from last week. The article titled Disinfectants and Surface Compatibility is one of the most relevant articles I have read in a long time. Kelly Pyrek does a great job of covering all areas and quoting the experts in the field. One expert, Linda Lybert says “sometimes it takes extreme action to prove a…

Read more

Do your surfaces and disinfectants have a good relationship? Part 3

In the April edition of Infection Control Today, Kelly Pyrek’s article “Disinfection and Surface Compatibility” is a valuable tool for any one that deals with surface disinfection.  She references Linda Lybert’s points to key aspects of surface materials as they relate to the environmental hygiene process.  These surface materials points include: Materials and textiles:  brushed…

Read more

Infection Prevention Tips for Million Dollar Athletes: And Everyone Else!

  The CDC has specific guidelines for athletic facilities to reduce the chance of MRSA infection and promote proper hygiene.  Along with personal hygiene, cleaning commonly touched surfaces and areas that come into direct contact with skin, sweat, or blood is imperative.  Any shared equipment that comes into direct skin contact should be disinfected after each…

Read more

Do your disinfectants and surfaces have a good relationship? Part 2

I am continuing a blog I posted last week on disinfectants and surface compatibility. Linda Lybert, president of Healthcare Surface Consulting, is an expert on surface material selection and disinfection compatibility. In a recent article, Lybert discusses that many infection control practitioners do not worry about the types of surface materials in their facility. They…

Read more

Million Dollar Athletes Get Infections too!!

The spread of infection has been a topic of concern on many people’s mind, lately. Do you think about infections in the sense that bacteria and viruses can harm you? Mindith Rahmat wrote an article that is very eye-opening. “MRSA Infections: Prevent Transmission in Your Gym”. Rahmat states that methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and carbapenem-resistant…

Read more

Do your disinfectants and surfaces have a good relationship?

I just read a great article by Kelly Pyrek, “Disinfectants and Surface Compatibility”, in the April addition of Infection Control Today. The article referenced several top experts in surface cleaning and disinfection.   Material compatibility between disinfectants and the surfaces cleaned is not something that is always considered. Pyrek does a great job of bringing this…

Read more

Norovirus is a Pricey Bug

In an article in Infection Control Today (April 26, 2016), Norovirus is in the spotlight for the high cost of treating and lost wages.  Many people think of Norovirus because it has been running rampant on cruise ships.  It is awful when people on vacation are stricken by a virus that presents with severe gastrointestinal…

Read more

Rainy Season is Mold Season

Mold spores occur in the indoor and outdoor environments. Mold spores may enter buildings from the outside through open doorways, windows, and heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems with outdoor air intakes. Spores in the air outside also attach themselves to people making them convenient vehicles for carrying mold indoors. When mold spores drop on…

Read more

Are Healthcare Worker’s Mobile Devices Spreading Infection?

Computers, tablets and cell phones are part of the day to day operations in all healthcare facilities.  A large percentage of healthcare workers (HCW) are dependent on mobile devices to communicate, transcribe and document.  Tablets, pads and phones are carried into patients rooms.  Cell phones are taken everywhere (even the bathroom).  That factor along with the heat…

Read more

Not So Exotic!

Scientists. They always try to make things sound so exotic with their Latin phrases and chemical formulas. Foreign and so far away. But here is something that even with their scientific phraseology is plain and simple. And deadly serious. H5N1. Not the latest, but right now a great threat. On January 3, 2014, the first…

Read more

New Technology for Environmental Hygiene

In the healthcare arena, sometimes things change very fast.  Practical anesthetics have been around for quite some time, but it has only been within the last decade or so that we have come to understand the transmission of hospital acquired infections (HAI).  More importantly, it’s been in the very recent past  and present day, that…

Read more

Did We Get Them All?

Did we get them all?  In a healthcare setting the environmental services team cleans patient care areas everyday.  There are any number of adequate products to be used, depending on the protocols of each individual facility.  However, is that once daily cleaning with these products enough?  What’s happening between cleanings?  Obviously, the germs are regrouping,…

Read more

Titanium Oxide Applications Outside the Research Laboratory

I’ve been reading some research abstracts about new and different technologies to be used in germ fighting.  They are basically oxidized metallic elements that destroy organic compounds on contact.  Read on. With the increased use of antibiotics has come the rise of the superbug.  Immune to traditional antibacterial products.  You’re picturing a hospital or healthcare…

Read more

William Gregor’s Discovery Is Helping Reduce HAIs

When we hear the word alchemist we often think of some kind of a pseudoscientist, but in truth, they were instrumental in developing the basics of modern chemistry and medicine. Their work with lead into gold was part of a long line of investigation into the antimicrobial properties of various metals which continues today. One…

Read more

Elimination is the Goal!

Last time, we said that some important groups had upped their interest in fighting HAIs (Healthcare-Associated Infections) and CLABSIs (Central Line-Associated Bloodstream Infections). Now, we are seeing more organizations joining the bandwagon. The CDC (Centers for Disease Control), APIC (Association of Professionals in Infection Control And Epidemiology), SHEA (the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America),…

Read more

CLABSI: How Big IS It?

This thing is so small you need a microscope to see it. But man, it’ll put a hurtin’ on you if you come in contact with it! We talked last time about the CLABSI as a central line associated blood stream infection – CLABSI. To add to the alphabet soup, a CLABSI is an HAI.…

Read more

What Are We Killing?

Big scientific word: sporulation.  What’s it mean?  It’s when a bacterium in a vegetative state awakens into a protected spore state.  Did you know that some disinfectants can in fact promote this activity?  With something like C. diff., that is a very bad thing.  In healthcare, we all know C. diff.. Very bad reputation.  Transmitted…

Read more

Ramping Up the Effort in Georgia

Shocking headline reads, “Georgia Ranks Near Bottom on Hospital Infections.”  This information comes to light as the result of new federal reporting requirements for hospitals.  And it may save some lives.  Dr. Tom Frieden, the Director of the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta says doctors are inherently competitive people, and don’t want to be…

Read more

CRE…The Bacteria That Needs Everyone’s Attention

Can ya just make it simple for me, Doc?  How do you expect me to understand what you are talking about when I can’t even pronounce some of the words you’ve got written down?  Good patient.  Ask questions until you understand.  It’s your treatment after all. So, in layman’s terms, when talking about carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae,…

Read more

Bottom Line on New Rules

Hey!  That’s my bottom line you’re talkin’ about.  Now you’ve got my attention.  The government has always played a role in healthcare, but now they’ve tossed another wrench into every hospital’s operating gears.  Report to us on your healthcare associated infections (HAIs), and we will penalize you for poor performance they say.  Those penalties are…

Read more

What’s a Hospital To Do?

Can your hospital afford a five million dollar reduction in revenues this year?  You’ve got really deep pockets if you can.  That’s what a hospital with 50 million dollars in annual Medicare inpatient revenue would be looking at with the new payment reforms and un-reimbursable extended stays associated with Healthcare Acquired Infections(HAIs).  That’s this year. …

Read more

If you Can’t Kill ‘em, Slow ‘em Down!

There have been any numbers of movies with evil villains who are seemingly impossible to kill.  Lop off a head and rather than one dead bad guy you now have two live ones.  Regeneration from the parts.  A little like an octopus whose tentacles grow back.  Bacteria are similar, in a slightly different way. Lincoln…

Read more

How Much Washing Does It Take?

A few drops of water.  A dab of soap.   Rinse, shake well.  Viola!  Clean hands!  Wrong! You see the signs in the bathroom- Employees must wash hands before returning to work.  You see the nurse spritz a little sanitizer on their hands.  You yourself wash hands religiously.  Right?  Sure you do.  The problem is, hardly…

Read more

Complexity Simplified

Science can be very complicated, very clinical and hard to understand in all of its enormity.  So, let me break it down  for you.  In simple terms.  Norovirus is a germ.  Germs are bad.  Ergo, Noroviroous is bad.  How bad?  Another name for this thing is Winter vomiting disease.  Pretty picture?  It can follow a…

Read more

Outside the Box…

We tend to think of germs being passed along by sick people confined at home or in hospitals and other healthcare facilities.  So this story is a little surprising.  Dateline: Washington State- Travelling soccer team struck down by Norovirus.  You don’t think of a bunch of healthy teenage girls playing soccer in a tournament as…

Read more

Warring with C.diff

They say that there is more than one way to skin a cat, and controlling C-diff in a healthcare setting also requires a multi-faceted game plan. Parts of the plan should include antibiotic protocols, standard precautions, contact precautions and care of the environment. Every facility should develop programs that encourage the proper use of antibiotics.…

Read more

Avoiding the Flu

I do not want to get the flu! What should I do? The absolute best way to stave off the flu is to get a flu vaccine each year. It doesn’t hurt at all. There are two types of flu vaccines. The nasal spray contains live, but weakened virus sometimes called LAIV for “Live Attenuated…

Read more

Spread the Love

So, you wouldn’t go to the doctor. You don’t believe in being sick. You had to go to work. But you really do have the flu. Really. You’ve been coughing and sneezing all over the place. How much damage have you done.? Are any of your co-workers suddenly sick too? You feel sick because you…

Read more

Is it the Flu?

AAAAHHCHOOOO!! Dang. I hope I’m not getting sick. Uh, my friend, you already are! The question is, from what ailment are you suffering? This time of year, the holidays and early to mid winter, it’s very likely to be influenza. Right, you have the flu! How can you tell if that one sneeze is an…

Read more

Is it Serious?

I don’t feel so good. The doctor says I have the flu. How bad is this stuff anyway? The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat, and lungs. It can cause mild to severe illness. You may have a fever, cough, headache, runny nose, stuffy nose, body…

Read more

The Power of Touch

Mother always said, “Wash your hands after you use the restroom!” She should have added, “and after you have any kind of contact with a hospital.” Germs don’t drive cars or ride the bus to get around; they just hitch a ride on our hands. Almost everything in a healthcare setting is a potential hiding…

Read more

Who Is At Risk For C-diff?

It seems unfair really. Those people who need it least are the most likely to contract C-diff. Not that anybody needs it, or wants it, but the sickest patients in hospitals are the most likely targets. Why is that? Lets look at some risk factors that contribute. On the surface, this one seems contra intuitive.…

Read more

Hidden Danger

OK, so now we know that Clostridium difficile infection (CDI), or C-diff, is a real, and growing problem. Where does this thing come from? It’s not like you see it oozing through the door. Or crashing in like a giant ogre. The thing is microscopic! The thing is, you can’t see it. And you can’t…

Read more

Just A Spore?

What’s the diff? It’s just a spore, right? Sure. Just some old spore whose toxin producing strains can cause a spectrum of disease ranging from mild or moderate diarrhea to its most advanced form known as pseudo- membranous colitis, which can lead to toxic dilation of the colon (megacolon), sepsis, and death. It’s Clostridium difficile…

Read more

Take Control of HAI’s before they Control Your Facility

There are so many HAI’s (Healthcare Acquired Infections) out there today which one should you be the most concerned about? The answer…all of them. Some may be worse than others in terms of their symptoms and effects on patients, families and the facilities. There are many costs associated with these infections…not in terms of just…

Read more

Spring Athletics and Infections

Spring is in full swing, which means that several sports are also in progress.  Many of these sports involve contact, either with other individuals or with equipment of some sort.  Unfortunately this also means that the risk of acquiring an infection is that much greater.  What was thought for many years to be a condition…

Read more

What are the Germiest Places in Schools?

I know it is hard to believe that we are in the middle of flu season since we have had a really mild winter in the south.  This time of year parents have to make the decision if their child’s illness is bad enough to keep him/her home from school.  Most school nurses say it…

Read more

February Is the Peak of Flu Season

How can we keep people well this time of year?  February is the peak of flu season.  There are approximately 97 million cases of the flu reported annually.  This results in 75 million sick days.  Guess how much that costs employers.  Over $10 billion…yes with a “b”.  The time to pay attention to infection is…

Read more

For Your Safety…Quiz the Gym Manager

Would you change gyms… if you found out the gym down the street had an antimicrobial protectant on their equipment and in the locker rooms?  And, the  members of that gym are not concerned about contracting any of the “super bugs” that are going around work out facilities today. Since germs are so wide-spread in athletic clubs and gyms, members are…

Read more

Being Careful Is Not Always Enough

I read an article today from a piece that aired on CNN on January 6, 2011.  The title is Don’t Let a Hospital Kill Your Child.  It described how a young girl went into a hospital to have an operation and contracted an infection.  The infection was C-diff and it is more common than ever among hospitalized children.  A study found…

Read more

Expanding Corporate Wellness

I read a great article today in the Harvard Business Review.  It was about the return on investment for corporate wellness programs.  There is solid evidence that employers who invest in the health of their employees see the financial rewards.  We all know keeping people healthy and at work will improve our bottom line.  But, is it only about exercising…

Read more

Everyone Has an Infection Story

When I tell people I have a product that aids in reducing the spread of bacteria and viruses, the person I am talking to always has a story.  I had lunch with 2 different business people this week.  Neither of them work in the  health care field.  Each of them told me a disturbing story about someone they…

Read more