Virox Insights Blog

Germs for sale! Buy 1 get 1 free!

Posted by Olivia Lattimore on Mon, Dec 18, 2017 @ 10:39 AM

I LOVE to shop, in fact many refer to me as a shopaholic. The best feeling is scoring a sweet sale, especially a BOGO (buy one, get one free) deal, because more is better right? However, the one thing that sobers my shopping high is the wise saying from my mother “it’s not a deal if you don’t need it”.

You might be wondering what the link between shopping and disinfection is. Well, conducting disinfectant efficacy testing is much like taking a shopping trip to your favourite department store. There are endless pathogens to choose from, some designer which are very costly and others that are staples and necessary to have on your product label. I am sure we have all treated ourselves to a shopping spree where we have bought things we don’t need. And guess what…disinfectant manufacturers do to! In an effort to look more effective many disinfectant manufactures will list an infinite number of pathogens on their product label. The catch? These claims are either irrelevant or are different strains of the same pathogen. It’s like buying 100 different camisoles when you only really need a few (black, white, etc).

So how does one identify if their disinfectant is playing the claims game or instead focuses on the relevant pathogens of concern? There are different classes of pathogens, each with surrogate organisms that are reflective of the gold standard or more difficult to kill pathogen in that class such as:


Vegetative bacteria:
Pseudomonas aeruginosa (gram negative) and Staphylococcus aureus (gram positive)

Fungi: Trichophyton mentagrophytes

Viruses: Poliovirus or Adenovirus (non-enveloped)

Mycobacteria: Mycobacterium bovis or Mycobacterium terrae

Bacterial Spores: Bacillus subtilis and Clostridium sporogenes


When cleaning and disinfecting surfaces, it is important to consider what pathogens are relevant to patients, clients, and the facility and focus your attention on a disinfectant formulation that provides a balance between effectiveness and minimal toxicity to increase user compliance.

So what if you’re “shopping” for a particular pathogen but it’s not listed on your disinfectant’s label? Does that mean the disinfectant won’t be effective? Not necessarily. The easiest thing to do is identify what kind of pathogen we are dealing with and where it sits on the hierarchy of susceptibility.


Is the pathogen a virus, bacteria, fungi, mycobacteria, or bacterial spore? Once you’ve identified what kind of pathogen we are dealing with, using the Hierarchy of Susceptibility, the next step is to identify where the pathogen sits on the pyramid. Using the Gold Standard pathogens, one can see what pathogens should be included on the product label to determine if efficacy can be expected. For example, if your facility is concerned with Influenza (since we are getting into Cold and Flu season) and it’s not listed on your product label, if you do a quick Google search you will see that Influenza is an enveloped virus which sits at the bottom of the pyramid. This tells you that Influenza is easy to kill via chemical disinfection. Next, looking at your disinfectant product label, if your disinfectant has efficacy claims against the gold standard pathogens for viruses (Poliovirus or Adenovirus) efficacy against Influenza can be expected, especially since the gold standard pathogens for viruses are non-enveloped which are much more difficult to kill. So if your disinfectant can kill the more difficult to kill germs efficacy can be expected against the easier to kill germs.

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So where does AHP® fit into all of this? As much as I love to shop, we don’t believe in adding claims to your product label for the sake of adding claims. Instead we aim to include the most relevant claims across the susceptibility pyramid. All AHP® based disinfectants contain efficacy against a broad spectrum of pathogens including enveloped viruses, vegetative bacteria, fungi, non-enveloped viruses, mycobacteria (RTU and Wipes), and there are even AHP® formulations with claims against bacterial spores. AHP® provides fast and consistent, broad-spectrum efficacy protecting your facility against pathogens you are most concerned with, without compromising safety to the user or environment. Download our efficacy flow chart to ensure you disinfectant is effective against the pathogens your facility is currently battling.

 

Insightfully yours,

 

Olivia Lattimore

 

 

 

 

                         

Topics: Accelerated Hydrogen Peroxide, AHP, cleaning, disinfectant, Product Labels, biosecurity, cleaner, infection control, Sufactants, Hierarchy of Susceptibility

Clearing Up the Cleaning Confusion

Posted by Olivia Lattimore on Tue, Oct 10, 2017 @ 11:43 AM

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The Legacy Chemical Coalition has upped its game since the Microbe Militia grew in size. Previously requiring cleaning prior to disinfection, many members of the Legacy Chemical Coalition have re-formulated themselves to become One-Step cleaner disinfectants, eliminating the need to pre-clean making them more efficient during battles. Unfortunately, there is a common misconception that products labelled as One-Step cleaner disinfectants are also good cleaners.

When a disinfectant is labelled as “One-Step” all this means is that the product has proven to remain effective in a 5% soil challenge, it does not mean that the product is a good cleaner. The truth of the matter is, some One-Step products actually have poor cleaning capabilities. What makes a disinfectant a good cleaner is its surfactant package. Surfactants act as detergents which use an electrical charge to lift and remove soils from the surface.  

There are 3 main types of surfactants used in disinfectants: anionic, non-ionic, and cationic. Anionic surfactants have superior cleaning abilities as the electrical charge from the anionic surfactants interacts better with soil particles allowing for easier removal. Non-ionic surfactants help in preventing redeposition of soils that have been lifted off the surface. In other words, non-ionic surfactants grab onto the soils and hang on to them. The last category is cationic surfactants which are used in Quaternary Ammonium Compound (Quat) based disinfectants. Cationic surfactants have antimicrobial characteristics which is why they are often found in Quat based hard-surface disinfectants, but do not interact with soil particles as efficiently as anionic surfactants.

The Accelerated Hydrogen Peroxide® (AHP®) technology utilizes both anionic and non-ionic surfactants to efficiently remove soils from surfaces. In fact, AHP® has been proven to prevent cross contamination! 

Don’t believe me? Download this Disinfectant Digest to learn more!  Astockdoc.jpgnd if you want to see AHP® in action watch the following video showing the difference in cleaning capabilities between AHP® and a leading Quat-Alcohol product.

With the cleaning confusion cleared up, it’s time to take on the Microbe Militia. Keeping a clean and disinfected surface ensures surfaces remain free from harmful microbes and that patients, clients, and staff are better protected.  


 

Insightfully yours,

Olivia Lattimore

 

                         

Topics: Accelerated Hydrogen Peroxide, AHP, cleaning, disinfectant, biosecurity, cleaner, infection control, Sufactants

How would you rate your stethoscope hygiene?

Posted by Olivia Lattimore on Thu, Aug 17, 2017 @ 04:18 PM

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Would you eat your dinner without washing your hands after using the restroom? My guess is probably NOT. We accept the important role hand hygiene plays not only in our personal lives but in the lives of our patients. In fact, next time you visit a family member or friend in the hospital count how many hand hygiene stations are present. Hand hygiene has been the focus of infection prevention education for quite some time now. With campaigns like “Clean Hands Save Lives” we are seeing more and more compliance with hand hygiene programs. BUT, have you ever considered stethoscope hygiene compliance within your facility?

Microbiological data have shown that stethoscope contamination after a single exam is comparable to that of a physician’s dominant hand. To put that into perspective, total bacterial counts on the hands of medical personnel have ranged from 3.9 x 104 to 4.6 x 106. That’s up to 4,600,000 pathogens that could contaminate a single stethoscope! Common pathogens cultured from stethoscopes include Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Clostridium difficile, and VRE. Did you know that for S. aureus an infectious dose is only 100,000 organisms? Even scarier, the microbe infectious dose is unknown for P. aeruginosa, C. difficile, and VRE highlighting the importance of preventative measures.

A new study in the American Journal of Infection Control looked at the impact that education, reminder flyers, and the provision of cleaning supplies had on stethoscope hygiene. At the end of the program, the results indicated that there was NO change in stethoscope disinfection compliance and hygiene remained at ZERO. Are these results surprising? Not really when you consider all the research that has looked at cleaning and disinfection protocol compliance. Take the study by Havill and Boyce for example on “Cleanliness of portable medical equipment disinfected by nursing staff”. In this study ATP (adenosine triphosphate bioluminescence) and aerobic cultures were used to assess the cleanliness of portable medical equipment disinfected by nurses between each patients use. It was discovered that the equipment was not being disinfected as per protocol and that education and feedback are an essential element to improving disinfection. There is a plethora of research that supports this same conclusion that education, monitoring, and feedback play an imperative role in improving disinfection compliance. Two more powerful examples come from Drs. Alfa and Boyce. In a study by Alfa et al, housekeeping staff were provided an effective Accelerated Hydrogen Peroxide® (AHP®) based disinfectant which was combined with proper training, education, compliance monitoring and feedback. The study resulted in a 20% reduction of HAIs including MRSA, VRE, and C. difficile. In a similar study by Boyce et al, the use of AHP®, education, and compliance monitoring resulted in a 23% reduction of HAIs! While this research has been primarily targeted towards the decontamination of environmental surfaces, it can certainly be extrapolated to patient care equipment such as stethoscopes.

It is evident that this study highlights not only the risk stethoscope hygiene incompliance has in healthcare facilities, but it reveals an overlooked infection control issue and how rarely stethoscope hygiene is done. Providing standard education may not have been the answer in increasing disinfection compliance in this particular study, but perhaps a more holistic approach is required that includes education, compliance monitoring and providing feedback to staff. Because how can anyone improve if they aren’t being properly trained or given guidance on ways to improve? Get started on your education, training, compliance monitoring and feedback program today using our Stethoscope Disinfection Protocol!  And for more resources on the effects of compliance monitoring download these Disinfectant Digests!

 

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Insightfully yours,

Olivia Lattimore

 

 

 

                        

Topics: Accelerated Hydrogen Peroxide, AHP, disinfectant, infection prevention, biosecurity, clean hands, hand hygiene, hygiene, infection control, safety, stethoscope disinfection protocol, stethoscope hygiene, healthcare facilities

Infection Prevention....Spreading the Word

Posted by Olivia Lattimore on Thu, Aug 10, 2017 @ 02:47 PM

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Picture this. A two year old boy faints from not eating in two days. A 12 year old girl is sold by her family to be a child bride just so they can feed the rest of the family for a week. A young child can’t attend school because he can’t afford shoes. This is what I witnessed first hand in Zambia, Africa 8 years ago. I spent 2 months travelling to a number of different rescue units for orphans affected by AIDS. As you can imagine, my perspective of life back in Canada dramatically changed. The things I so often took for granted or complained about seemed so miniscule compared to the hardships people living in third world countries have to face on a daily basis. It really hit me when I got into a minor motorcycle accident while in Zambia. Being 6 hours away from the nearest medical clinic, I was lucky that I only got a couple bumps and bruises and was not seriously injured in the crash. It was in this moment, that I realized how lucky I truly was to have available healthcare back home. Working in the infection prevention industry for 3 years now, I have also come to realize how lucky we are to have advanced infection prevention knowledge compared to other countries around the world. With endless resources, education, and research we are constantly working towards change to better the health of our patients. There are however, many countries around the world where there is very littleZambia 3 (002).jpg opportunity to learn about infection prevention. This lack of opportunity results in knowledge gaps, illness and death that are completely preventable. Take Ebola for example.  Thousands of lives in West Africa were claimed as a result of ineffective infection control measures. A lack of proper PPE, isolation precautions, clean water for hand hygiene, and cleaning and disinfection of environmental surfaces greatly contributed to the spread of Ebola. This spread resulted in a staggering number of healthcare worker Ebola associated deaths. In fact, 10% all Ebola deaths were Healthcare workers. So how did this devastating outbreak finally get contained? Simple. Education. In 2014 there was a massive effort to educate and train healthcare workers to properly handle patients infected with Ebola. But why did thousands of preventable deaths have to happen before effective training and education became available? The obvious answer is that the resources were simply unattainable.

Fortunately, the path is being paved to make infection prevention education more readily accessible. The Infection Control Africa Network, Stellenbosch University (Cape Town), and Webber Training created Teleclass Education Africa to provide basic infection control education to African healthcare workers. It is the ONLY initiative to provide such education. Teleclass Education brings lectures on infection prevention and control topics by the world’s top authorities on the subjects to a global healthcare, academic, and regulatory audience. The end goal is to ultimately prevent another crisis such as Ebola before it begins. As a non-for-profit organization, Webber Training is raising funds to support this critical initiative.

At Virox Technologies, we are passionate about providing accessible education to the infection control community. More than 5 years ago Virox introduced a bursary at the bi-annual Infection Control Africa Network Congress conference to sponsor African scientists to present abstracts on infection control projects specifically on the topics of disinfectants and disinfection or sterilization systems. We see the value in the education and information provided by Webber Training and are a proud sponsor of this essential resource. To continue the momentum in Africa we have made a special contribution to Teleclass Education Africa. If you wish to learn more about this important resource for the African healthcare community, or if you wish to make a contribution you can visit their Go Fund Me page.  Together we can all make a difference.

 

Insightfully yours,

Olivia Lattimore

 

Infection Control Africa Network

                        

Topics: Accelerated Hydrogen Peroxide, AHP, disinfectant, infection prevention, education, Webber Teleclasses, Webber Training, biosecurity, infection control, safety, Teleclass Education Africa

Does your disinfectant suffer from Safety Indifference Syndrome?

Posted by Olivia Lattimore on Fri, Jul 14, 2017 @ 12:03 PM

 

 

 

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We know that chemical disinfectants are widely used in infection prevention, as such, our reliance on them is imperative. When choosing a disinfectant, it seems the focus revolves around what the disinfectant kills and costs, forgetting about other criteria such as the level of safety a disinfectant offers. Research has indicated that disinfectant products have the potential to contribute to respiratory hazards including the onset of asthma or exacerbation of existing asthma. Additionally, disinfectants have been associated with acute illness reports among workers, primarily affecting the eyes and skin. A 2010 report by the CDC highlighted that the most common active ingredients responsible for illnesses were Quaternary ammonium compounds (38%), glutaraldehyde (25%), and sodium hypochlorite (18%). The majority of the types of injuries associated with the use of disinfectants were: 222 eye injuries, 130 neurologic injuries (headaches), and 121 respiratory injuries. These occupational human health hazards not only have negative physical implications, but also negative economic impacts both directly and indirectly. And did you know that it has been shown that disinfectants which are perceived as toxic by staff are less likely to be used correctly, reducing user compliance and increasing the risk of pathogen transmission? 

Employers have a legal responsibility to provide a safe working environment for staff and patients which includes choosing disinfectants that are not going to cause harm to staff or patients. Choosing an effective disinfectant with the best safety profile will not only prevent the transmission of harmful pathogens but will aid in the prevention of workplace incidents. Unfortunately, most disinfectants have to compromise between safety and efficacy with the focus being more on what the product can kill. This compromise is often made as it is a common belief that due to their toxicity to microorganisms, disinfectants are also toxic to human health resulting in user apprehension and decreased compliance.

So how do you identify the safety profile of a disinfectant? The best way to know is by reading the products Safety Data Sheet (SDS), which is a summary document that provides information about the hazards of a product and advice about safety precautions. On the SDS, sections 2 and 11 should be reviewed to identify product hazards and toxicological data. Pay special attention to section 2 which is an overview of the disinfectants hazards identification. This section will tell you the GHS classification, signal words, hazard pictograms and precautionary statements. Ideally, you want your disinfectant to not be classified by GHS and have no hazard pictograms or hazard statements. Furthermore, section 11 will provide you the toxicity results of the disinfectant. All disinfectant manufacturers must have their products tested for oral, dermal, and inhalation toxicity by a third party laboratory. These results ultimately determine the content that’s required in section 2.

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Is it possible to have a disinfectant that is both effective and safe? Do you need to compromise one for the other? The answer is NO! Accelerated Hydrogen Peroxide® (AHP®) based disinfectants are based on chemical synergies. What this means is that instead of adding more chemicals to make our disinfectants more effective against germs, we play with the formula until we get a new synergy. This results in enhanced formulas that offer a faster, and better efficacy without compromising user safety. AHP® is designed to be non-toxic, non-irritating, and non-sensitizing. At the in-use dilution, AHP® is not classified under GHS, has no associated hazard pictograms, and no hazard statements. Furthermore, AHP® does not utilize any ingredients that are carcinogenic, mutagenic, or have reproductive toxicity, giving user’s confidence that they won’t be harmed by their disinfectant if used according to the label directions.

So why compromise when you don’t have to? Accelerated Hydrogen Peroxide® (AHP®) based disinfectants have accomplished the balance between safety and efficacy like no other. I hope this will lead you to evaluate your current disinfectant choice within your facility and review with your team the pros and cons. Download our Safety Checklist to evaluate your disinfectant today!

 

 

 

Insightfully yours,

Olivia Lattimore

                       

 

 


 

Topics: Accelerated Hydrogen Peroxide, AHP, disinfectant, compliance, infection prevention, SDS, biosecurity, infection control, safety, occupational hazards, OSHA

Introducing Prevention™ HLD8!

Posted by Olivia Lattimore on Thu, Jul 13, 2017 @ 11:56 AM

 

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Don’t you hate the noxious fumes of gluts? Perhaps you just purchased an inexpensive high level disinfectant, only to realize that now you need to install a fume hood to comply with OSHA regulations.  Or maybe waiting a whole 20 minutes for your instruments to be disinfected drives you crazy because now you need to purchase multiple instrument sets to account for your high turnover.

For some, the very term “high level disinfectant” might be alarming as you likely associate high level disinfectants as being toxic and an impediment on your productivity. But we have some exciting news to share! The same Accelerated Hydrogen Peroxide® (AHP®) technology that you know and love in your surface disinfectants is now available in a High Level Disinfectant (HLD) for your semi-critical instruments and devices!

Prevention™ HLD8 is a smart and innovative solution that is different from other chemistries such as the commonly used Glut (glutaraldehyde) or OPA (ortho-Phthalaldehyde). Prevention™ HLD8 is FDA registered and provides high level disinfection in only 8 minutes meaning you can reprocess your instruments faster. Once poured, Prevention™ HLD8 can be re-used for up to 21 days so your solution can go further improving staff productivity and saving you money. With Prevention™ HLD8 you no longer have to worry about dermatitis or respiratory distress as Prevention™ HLD8 is formulated using ingredients that are non-toxic and biodegradable. In fact, you can forget about fume hoods, special ventilation and respiratory PPE. Best of all, unlike other high level disinfectants, Prevention™ HLD8 can be poured safely down the drain. Why compromise the safety of patients and staff if you don’t have to?

We are thrilled to offer our new Prevention™ HLD8 High Level Disinfectant to the US market as part of the AHP® portfolio which now supports the disinfection of both surfaces and devices in the Alternative Care and Animal Health markets. With Prevention™ HLD8 you can get a complete AHP® portfolio solution for all your disinfection needs. And for our Canadian friends, don’t worry! You can still access our high level disinfectant and chemical sterilant with Preempt HLD5 and Preempt CS20.

For more information read our Press Release

 

Insightfully yours,

Olivia Lattimore

 

Topics: Accelerated Hydrogen Peroxide, AHP, disinfectant, infection prevention, infection control, HLD8

Giving You Insight into the World of AHP

Posted by Mikeisha Paul on Mon, Oct 07, 2013 @ 12:25 PM

 

Insight: the capacity to discern the true nature of a situation

The world of product usage for infection prevention can be a confusing one. There are so many products out there with a surplus of  information to sort through, it may be difficult to determine what is relevant for you. The reality is, the healthcare environment is a busy place where the tools are given (in the form of hospital grade disinfectants) but there is simply not enough time to sort through all the details. The list of possible questions can get quite extensive depending on the situation.

Whatever your question may be our goal will be to make your Accelerated Hydrogen Peroxide (AHP) product experience easier. We will take the technical and make it un-technical – keeping it simple and straight forward. As we go along, we invite you to participate in conversations, ask questions and provide suggestions on what topics you would like to know more about while keeping it relevant, relatable and fun!

Here at Virox we have truly built a family-like culture and whether you are a loyal user of our
technology or if you are here out of curiosity we want you to have the inside scoop on AHP and the Accel product line. We will address various aspects of our products via carefully selected themes that will aim to address what is really important for our AHP users. If you have a problem AHP has a remedy!

In essence this blog will be your Insight into the world of AHP! So what would you like to know?

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Topics: Accel, Accelerated Hydrogen Peroxide, AHP, cleaning, disinfection, chemistry, disinfectant, disinfect

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  • Insights--Blog.jpgOlivia is a passionate member of the Professional and Technical Services (PTS) team and is dedicated to educating readers on the importance of Infection Prevention and Control..