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Safe cleaning and disinfection when confronted with COVID-19 infections: how hospitals can ensure they are equipped
An independent institute has confirmed the efficacy of Meiko cleaning and disinfection technology, which means it is possible to safely clean and disinfect almost all hospital utensils that could be contaminated - even for faecal-oral transmission.
David Fisman, epidemiologist at the University of Toronto has warned that the potential for coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) to spread via faeces presents novel challenges to hospitals in particular.
He also sees potential for the pathogen to take the faecal-oral route if hygiene standards are insufficient. Restricting the virus spread thus becomes difficult, as care utensils such as bedpans become trouble spots within the chain of infection.
The cleaning and disinfection performance of Meiko cleaning and disinfection machines has now been assessed as highly effective against SARS-CoV-2 by independent hygiene institute, Hygcen Germany GmbH. The report compares the temperature, mechanism and use of chemicals in Meiko appliances with the established characteristics of coronaviruses. The results: the cleaning process used in Meiko cleaning and disinfection machines is safe. There are, however, a few points to remember when dealing with potentially contaminated care utensils.
- Add an alkali detergent to the hot cycle: Numerous tests have shown high efficacy in combating viruses with envelopes, in particular using detergents with high emulsifying capacities and hot alkali-detergent solutions at 50 degrees C or higher. Coronaviruses fit into this category. This is always an option with Meiko products as it is possible to add an alkali detergent to the hot cycle.
- Set the disinfection cycle to an A0 value of at least 600: An A0 value of 600 is considered sufficient to disinfect surfaces of temperature-sensitive viruses such as coronaviruses. On some Meiko appliances, the user can even set this independently. On others, the manufacturer can configure the machine to achieve this. Two temperature sensors verify each other, guaranteeing that the required temperature in the wash chamber of the Meiko machine is reliably maintained over the necessary time period (10 minutes at 80 degrees C, one minute at 90 degrees C). A0 values can be set or selected from 60 to 3,000.
- Rinse aid/water softener dosing is compulsory: Rinse aid and water softeners have an additional mechanism which destroys viruses so they are currently especially recommended as part of the process. They are used anyway in Meiko appliances to prevent the build-up of limescale deposits in the machine and mineral residues on the care utensils.
These points should be observed regardless of whether you are using the short, standard or intensive programme. Choosing the programme with the correct cleaning performance and the right wash mechanism to achieve the required result depends on the general level of dirt on the care utensils.
Avoiding hospital infections:
In hospitals, it is standard practice to set up quarantine bedrooms and isolation wards in the case of highly contagious viral infections. In these instances, care utensils must be cleaned in a bedpan washer in the patient's room or the adjacent wet room. Meiko has a solution which integrates into the wall.
"Machine cleaning generally minimises contact between potentially contaminated care utensils, medical staff and other patients, effectively reducing the risk of hospital infections or cross contamination," says Dr Thomas Peukert, chief technology officer at Meiko.
Safe cleaning routes for non-medical devices:
Visiting lecturer Dr Friedrich von Rheinbaben, hygienist and virologist, explains: "In the first instance, the pathogen continues to spread via airway secretions. To avoid droplet infection and transmission via tiny particles in the air (aerosol), any utensils which come into contact with potentially infectious airway secretions (spittoons, wash bowls, etc.) should be disinfected after use. These items may not be classed as medical devices but they must be kept hygienically clean for safety, especially in the case of an epidemic. Multiwashers manufactured by Meiko are designed for this and provide chemothermal disinfection."
The Sinner circle:
As early as the 1930s, Meiko started gathering expertise in cleaning and disinfection technology and in medical devices, meaning we now possess extensive expertise in this area. The Sinner circle is a principle that has always been applied in Meiko machines and is still valuable. This model describes the mechanisms that are used in cleaning processes. There are four factors here which come together to determine the cleaning result. They are: cleaning agents, mechanism, temperature and time. You can change each individual factor but you must ensure that the relationship between them remains in balance. In this respect, Meiko offers reliable, holistic processes, especially in the case of infectious diseases. Its system includes a suitable machine, the right chemicals and the necessary dosing systems.
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12th March 2020