Health Care Associated Infections (HCAIs) increase costs and generate higher morbidity and mortality rates ( table 1).
Annual deaths and health care costs associated to HCAIs in Europe*
Yearly EU patients with at least one HAI 4.5 million
Yearly EU deaths caused directly by HAIs 37.000
Yearly EU deaths with HAI as contributing factor 110.000
Yearly EU Health Care Costs to fight HAIs >€5 billion
Many of the most resistant bacteria – MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) , VRE ( vancomycin-resistant enterococci), MDRAB (Acinetobacter baumannii) are associated to the daily nursing care practices; specifically, cross-transmission occurs via direct contact from hands and gloves of healthcare professionals to patients.
The primary countermeasure is a rigid implementation of the standard hand cleansing practices of the personnel. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the American Society for Microbiology recommend that “keeping hands clean is one of the most important ways to prevent infection and illness” and again “it is universally recognized that cleansing plays a key role in the reduction of the bacteria count”(**)
The use of alcohol based products for hand hygiene is not a valid countermeasure. Alcohol has only a temporary disinfection action and further:
• does not clean hands, as recommended by the CDC
• its effectiveness varies according to the type and concentration used
• frequent use of alcohol-based formulations cause drying of the skin. Dry skin is more subject to recontamination, cuts and abrasions
Welcare Industries has recently launched Handy™ , a new Hand Cleansing System for healthcare professionals that combines efficacy in bacteria removal with high hydration power for skin care.
The efficacy of Handy™ is based on the action of the active, non allergenic, exclusive solution combined to the mechanical action of the special tissue that traps into the fibers the dirt and the bacterial colonies. The actions of Handy™ solution and washcloth combination are, in order of importance:
• Remove bacteria
• Clean hands form dirt, debris, organic material, etc
• Prevent redeposit of new bacteria
In vitro tests (1) conducted on samples of pig skin inoculated with 1.6 x 10 8 CFU of MRSA bacteria gave complete reduction by 2nd cleansing with no further growth throughout the test duration.
Handy™ not only cleans and disinfect but also protects from recontamination because it removes the substrate on which the bacteria grow . The solution has also shown a selective efficacy in the reduction of saprophytes with minimal pathogenicity. This capacity could be quite advantageous because maintaining a small amount of saprophytes on the skin could contribute -for antagonism- to delay the recontamination by other bacteria (2)
Further, the combination of high concentration of Aloe Vera leaf extract and Allantoin :
• Has a high hydrating power. A well moisturized skin is a more efficacious barrier to recontamination (3).
• In cases of broken skin, the solution provides a higher oxygenation level in the wound tissues, supporting the healing process (4)
The solution used in Handy™ is alcohol free, fragrance free, non allergenic
To conclude, Handy™ provides healthcare professionals the Medical Device they require: it cleanses, removes bacteria, fights recontamination, hydrates skin.
*Infection Control Today. 11/27/2007
**Best practice: evidence based practice for Health Professionals, Volume , Issue 1; 2003 ISSN 1329-1874
1-2-3-4: data on file at Welcare Industries Spa