When we go into hospital, we expect that the treatments we receive there will make us feel better. But for a distressing number of hospital patients, going into hospital can result in additional complications caused by a hospital-acquired infection.
Hospital-acquired infections are caused by a range of different bacteria that produce different symptoms in the affected individual. Around 300,000 people acquire an infection while in hospital every year, resulting in additional complications, longer hospitals stays and even death.
One of the most common HAIs is caused by a bacteria called Clostridioides Difficile (known as C.diff); part of a group of spore-forming bacteria, which also includes bacteria from the Bacillus family. These spore-forming bacteria present a real problem for hospitals because they are widely present and almost impossible to eliminate completely. As a result, the NHS and other healthcare settings stipulate that any disinfectant used in their facilities must be proven effective against spore-forming bacteria like C.diff.
But what are spore-forming bacteria, and why are they so dangerous?
There are lots of different types of spore-forming bacteria, and they are found in lots of different places including in raw meat, the digestive tract and in the soil. Clostridial bacteria can be responsible for various infections, ranging from food poisoning to tetanus. When conditions are unfavourable, these bacteria produce spores – dormant cells that are highly resistant to heat or chemicals, so they’re almost impossible to kill.
C.diff is one of the most common clostridial bacteria. Many people carry it in their intestine without knowing; the bacteria is kept in check by the ‘good’ bacteria in the gut. It’s only when changes occur in the gut microbiome – for example, caused by taking antibiotics that kill the good bacteria – that C.diff can grow out of control, causing a C.diff infection (CDI). People with a CDI often suffer from prolonged and severe diarrhoea that can cause dehydration and damage to their bowel.
Why does it happen in hospitals?
In a hospital environment, staff and patients are much more likely to come into contact with other people’s faeces or body fluids, causing their hands to become contaminated with C.diff. If they don’t wash their hands properly, or often enough, the bacteria can be transferred directly to other patients, or indirectly onto surfaces. In addition, hospital inpatients are highly likely to be receiving antibiotic therapy which changes their gut microbiome and can make them more vulnerable to C.diff infections. The C.diff infection causes diarrhoea, and when the infected person goes to the toilet, millions more spores are expelled and spread through the environment as a result of poor hand hygiene.
Bacterial spores can live in the environment – they can lie dormant on surfaces for as long as 5 months, just waiting to transfer to a host where they can make their way via the hands to the mouth and into the digestive tract. It is therefore vital that disinfectants used in hospital and other clinical settings are effective against spores.
Household bleach (sodium hypochlorite) and other chlorine-based products are shown to kill off spores. But in developing VIRONEX, we listened to healthcare professionals when they said that they were tired of the noxious fumes, the hazardous measuring and mixing, the unpleasant odour and the damage these compounds caused to soft surfaces like vinyl flooring and waterproof membranes.
VIRONEX is a highly effective bactericidal, virucidal, fungicidal and sporicidal disinfectant applied from an easy to use, 100% portable pre pressurised cylinder, delivering an effective fine mist to surfaces. It’s been tested against a wide range of common hospital pathogens including C.diff and other spore-forming bacteria from the Bacillus family, as well as coronaviruses, norovirus, staphylococcus and others. It’s achieved six BS EN approvals – BS EN 1276, BS EN 13697, BS EN 16615, BS EN 14476, BS EN 16777 and BS EN 1650, underscoring its efficacy for every aspect of clinical hygiene.
VIRONEX is also more convenient. It’s ready to use, so there’s no more faffing with powders, liquids or tablets and water, it’s got a mild, pleasant fragrance, and it won’t cause damage to surfaces – not even vinyl.
Combined with VIRONEX’s efficient, convenient application, we believe it’s the solution for tackling C.diff and other HAIs that our NHS has been waiting for. For further information, make an enquiry.