Hygiene in context with corona

Dr. Schumacher’s online portal is aimed at hygiene managers and specialists working in healthcare facilities. Contributions from research and practice are intended to provide well-founded information during the current COVID-19 pandemic – for better implementing hygiene and infection prevention measures.

28.05.2020

Surface hygiene during the COVID-19 pandemic Disinfect several times daily

Hygiene Management // Surface Disinfection

Home

With its new interim guidance regarding surface hygiene in connection with COVID-19, the World Health Organization (WHO) wants to “reduce any role that contaminated surfaces may play in the transmission of SARS-CoV-2”. Surfaces in rooms where a patient with a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 infection is present must, according to the experts, be cleaned and disinfected several times. In this regard, the sequence of cleaning or disinfection is also important.

Read more

15.05.2020

GETTING BACK TO STANDARD CARE The new normal

Hygiene Management // Standard Care

Home

At the moment, routine operations are gradually being carried out again – even the outpatient departments are filling up more and more. The German Society for General and Visceral Surgery (DGAV e.V.) has given recommendations on how to prevent so-called “nosocomial infection clusters”. Ward modules help to manage the different groups of patients.

Read more

Expert Hotline: <br> Disinfection and hygiene<br> for combating SARS-CoV-2 info@schumacher-online.com

Expert Hotline:
Disinfection and hygiene
for combating SARS-CoV-2
info@schumacher-online.com
.

20.05.2020

MENTAL HEALTH Conflict: There are always two versions of the truth

Practice Example // Personal Protection

Home

There’s no question about it, the coronavirus pandemic has been a stressful situation for many people. This is evident, for example, from conflicts in the workplace. These conflicts usually have basic causes. Gerburg Lutter, mediator and certified social pedagogue from Kiel, Germany, talks about how to recognize what’s behind the conflicts and how to deal with these situations in a better way.

Read more

07.05.2020

USING DISINFECTANTS Standard products vs. general decree formulations: What should be considered?

Hygiene Management // Disinfectants

Home

In order to eliminate gaps in supply chains for hand sanitizers and surface disinfectants, the Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (BAuA) issued a general decree which has been updated several times. This authorizes pharmacies and companies in the pharmaceutical and chemical industry to manufacture biocide products that can be used as hand sanitizers and surface disinfectants. Specialist for hygiene and environmental medicine, Prof. Dr. Günter Kampf, explains what healthcare facilities should keep in mind.

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Do surface disinfectants that are used to kill COVID-19 have to contain certain concentrations of active ingredients?

No. Any proven “limited virucidal agent” is sufficient for reliably inactivating enveloped viruses such as SARS-CoV-2. Evidence based on test methods according to the German Association for the Control of Virus Diseases (DVV) or EN 14476 or EN 16 777 (for products without mechanical/spray disinfection) proves that these surface disinfectants reduce viruses by at least 4 log-10 units under the standard conditions that were tested. This means that out of 1 million virus particles, a maximum of 100 remain. The Robert Koch Institute also recommends using limited virucidal agents against COVID-19.

All marketable products that are labeled accordingly achieve the required effectiveness. The fact that the formulations and mixtures of active ingredients may be very different and also contain different concentrations of active ingredients does not make a difference to the effectiveness.

However, if pure active ingredient solutions are used instead of marketable products, certain concentrations have been identified as necessary. This has been shown by a review that evaluated 22 studies. These studies mainly used pure active ingredients in aqueous solution and no marketable products were used. None of the alcohols mentioned in the studies that were examined had a lower or medium active substance content, meaning no statement could be made about their effectiveness against coronaviruses.

With this in mind, the German research team came to the conclusion that when using pure active ingredient solutions, the following concentrations must be used in order to inactivate coronaviruses: Ethanol: 62–71%, hydrogen peroxide: 0.5% or sodium hypochlorite 0.1%. The studies showed that other agents such as 0.05–0.2% benzalkonium chloride or 0.02% chlorhexidine digluconate were less effective.

Conclusion: The review of the studies does not allow conclusions to be drawn about products on the market: Disinfectants available on the market are often have formulations that are much more complex than pure active ingredient solutions in water and are optimized for the individual usage conditions. For example, certain formulations may also contain small amounts of benzalkonium chloride and yet the product is still effective due to the entire formulation. Therefore, it’s not a specified active substance content that makes a marketable surface disinfectant suitable for inactivating SARS-CoV-2, but rather evidence of the limited virucidal agent documented by current test methods and standards.


Sources:
Recommendations from the Robert Koch Institute on hygiene measures in the treatment and care of patients with a SARS-CoV-2 infection. As of 04/01/2020. https://www.rki.de/DE/Content/InfAZ/N/Neuartiges_Coronavirus/Hygiene.html (Last accessed on 04/07/2020)
Kampf G, Todt D, Pfaender S, Steinmann E: Persistence of coronaviruses on inanimate surfaces and its inactivation with biocidal agents. J Hosp Infect 104 (2020) pp 246-251. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0195670120300463?via%3Dihub (Last accessed on 04/07/2020)

How to process medical devices that have been in direct contact with COVID-19 patients?

The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) recommends that all medical devices, such as stethoscopes or electrodes, that have been in direct contact with COVID-19 patients should always be used in on a patient-specific basis.

The medical devices must be disinfected after use. During transport, care should be taken to ensure that the transport containers are closed properly and are disinfected on the outside. Thermal disinfection methods are preferred for processing medical devices. According to the RKI, the thermal processes used in washer-disinfectors offer more reliable efficacy, such as reduced impairment due to residual contamination for example.

If thermal processes are not possible, the RKI recommends the use of disinfectants where the limited virucidal agent has been proven to be effective at least.


Sources:
Robert Koch Institute, recommendations from the Robert Koch Institute on hygiene measures in the treatment and care of patients with a SARS-CoV-2 infection, as of 04/01/2020.
https://www.rki.de/DE/Content/InfAZ/N/Neuartiges_Coronavirus/Hygiene.html (Last accessed on 04/07/2020)
Robert Koch Institute, hygiene requirements for the processing of medical devices, October 1st 2012.
https://www.rki.de/DE/Content/Infekt/Krankenhaushygiene/Kommission/Downloads/Medprod_Rili_2012.html (Last accessed on 04/07/2020)

How can laundry and textiles from COVID-19 patients be safely reprocessed?

It is possible to safely reprocess laundry and textiles from COVID-19 patients by following the recommendations of the Robert Koch Institute using a disinfecting laundry disinfection procedure according to the RKI list.
The list describes the different processes and active substances such as the required concentrations of disinfectants and detergents as well as liquor ratio, temperature and exposure time. It is important to remember that the washing machines used for this purpose should also comply with the required parameters. This means that the washing machines must be operated in accordance with the operating instructions, be serviced regularly and checked to ensure they function properly.
COVID-19 patients should use disposable tissues as handkerchiefs. It is recommended that covers that can be disinfected by wiping are used for beds and mattresses.

Sources:
RKI. List of disinfectants and disinfection methods tested and approved by the Robert Koch Institute. As of: October 31st 2017 (version 17). https://www.rki.de/DE/Content/Infekt/Krankenhaushygiene/Desinfektionsmittel/Downloads/BGBl_60_2017_Desinfektionsmittelliste.pdf (Last accessed on 04/07/2020)
Recommendations from the Robert Koch Institute on hygiene measures in the treatment and care of patients with a SARS-CoV-2 infection.
https://www.rki.de/DE/Content/InfAZ/N/Neuartiges_Coronavirus/Hygiene.html (Last accessed on 04/07/2020)

What are the criteria for visitation regulations in care homes and nursing homes during the COVID-19 pandemic?

In principle, the following applies: Whether and under what conditions a care home or nursing home should allow visitors is decided by the home itself, depending on the local situation and possibly in consultation with the public health department.

However, the following aspects should be considered in general:

  • It is preferable that social contact is made via telecommunications, such as telephone calls, and not through personal visits.
  • If someone is displaying signs of a cold, they should stay away from the home. The same applies to people who have been in contact with someone who is infected with COVID-19.
  • If a home decides to permit visitors, each visit must be registered (visitor’s name, date of visit, name of the resident visited). Furthermore, visits should be kept to a minimum and visitors should be informed about the necessary protective measures. This includes maintaining a minimum distance of 1.5 to 2 meters from the resident, wearing protective gowns as well as a face covering and disinfecting your hands when leaving the resident’s room.

Source:
Robert Koch-Institute, Prevention and management of COVID-19 in care homes and nursing homes and facilities for people with disabilities, Recommendations for care homes and nursing homes and facilities for people with disabilities and for the public health service, status: 4/14/2020. https://www.rki.de/DE/Content/InfAZ/N/Neuartiges_Coronavirus/Alten_Pflegeeinrichtung_Empfehlung.pdf?__blob=publicationFile

Sources:
03.05.2020

PROCESSING RESPIRATORY MASKS Use without personalization

Practice Example // Reprocessing

Home

Together with experts in medical technology and hygiene, Helios Kliniken GmbH has developed a safe procedure for reprocessing FFP2 and FFP3 masks. According to their own statements, the processing method exceeds the security level specified by the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) and allows masks to be reused without personalization.

Read more

03.05.2020

INTERNATIONAL HAND HYGIENE DAY ON MAY 5TH Patient protection begins with the nursing staff

Hygiene Management // Hand Hygiene

Home

On this year’s International Hand Hygiene Day, the World Health Organization (WHO) is celebrating the contribution of nurses and midwives. The WHO reminds us that “clean and safe care” begins with the nursing staff. Policy makers should increase nurse staffing levels and provide more support to ensure infection control and improve quality of care.

Read more

03.05.2020

COVID-19 RISK FOR NURSING STAFF Lack of hand hygiene and working long hours

Publications // Studies

Home

The number of staff suffering from a COVID-19 infection during their nursing or medical work is on the rise. Almost 10,000 cases (situation report dated 05/03/2020) were recently recorded by the Robert Koch Institute with a high estimated number of unreported cases. A current retrospective cohort study at the University Hospital in Wuhan with 3,300 beds provides information about the specific risks for health workers.

Read more

28.05.2020

Surface hygiene during the COVID-19 pandemic Disinfect several times daily

Hygiene Management // Surface Disinfection

Home

With its new interim guidance regarding surface hygiene in connection with COVID-19, the World Health Organization (WHO) wants to “reduce any role that contaminated surfaces may play in the transmission of SARS-CoV-2”. Surfaces in rooms where a patient with a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 infection is present must, according to the experts, be cleaned and disinfected several times. In this regard, the sequence of cleaning or disinfection is also important.

Read more

20.05.2020

MENTAL HEALTH Conflict: There are always two versions of the truth

Practice Example // Personal Protection

Home

There’s no question about it, the coronavirus pandemic has been a stressful situation for many people. This is evident, for example, from conflicts in the workplace. These conflicts usually have basic causes. Gerburg Lutter, mediator and certified social pedagogue from Kiel, Germany, talks about how to recognize what’s behind the conflicts and how to deal with these situations in a better way.

Read more

15.05.2020

GETTING BACK TO STANDARD CARE The new normal

Hygiene Management // Standard Care

Home

At the moment, routine operations are gradually being carried out again – even the outpatient departments are filling up more and more. The German Society for General and Visceral Surgery (DGAV e.V.) has given recommendations on how to prevent so-called “nosocomial infection clusters”. Ward modules help to manage the different groups of patients.

Read more

07.05.2020

USING DISINFECTANTS Standard products vs. general decree formulations: What should be considered?

Hygiene Management // Disinfectants

Home

In order to eliminate gaps in supply chains for hand sanitizers and surface disinfectants, the Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (BAuA) issued a general decree which has been updated several times. This authorizes pharmacies and companies in the pharmaceutical and chemical industry to manufacture biocide products that can be used as hand sanitizers and surface disinfectants. Specialist for hygiene and environmental medicine, Prof. Dr. Günter Kampf, explains what healthcare facilities should keep in mind.

Read more

03.05.2020

INTERNATIONAL HAND HYGIENE DAY ON MAY 5TH Patient protection begins with the nursing staff

Hygiene Management // Hand Hygiene

Home

On this year’s International Hand Hygiene Day, the World Health Organization (WHO) is celebrating the contribution of nurses and midwives. The WHO reminds us that “clean and safe care” begins with the nursing staff. Policy makers should increase nurse staffing levels and provide more support to ensure infection control and improve quality of care.

Read more

03.05.2020

PROCESSING RESPIRATORY MASKS Use without personalization

Practice Example // Reprocessing

Home

Together with experts in medical technology and hygiene, Helios Kliniken GmbH has developed a safe procedure for reprocessing FFP2 and FFP3 masks. According to their own statements, the processing method exceeds the security level specified by the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) and allows masks to be reused without personalization.

Read more

03.05.2020

COVID-19 RISK FOR NURSING STAFF Lack of hand hygiene and working long hours

Publications // Studies

Home

The number of staff suffering from a COVID-19 infection during their nursing or medical work is on the rise. Almost 10,000 cases (situation report dated 05/03/2020) were recently recorded by the Robert Koch Institute with a high estimated number of unreported cases. A current retrospective cohort study at the University Hospital in Wuhan with 3,300 beds provides information about the specific risks for health workers.

Read more

Expert Hotline: <br> Disinfection and hygiene<br> for combating SARS-CoV-2 info@schumacher-online.com

Expert Hotline:
Disinfection and hygiene
for combating SARS-CoV-2
info@schumacher-online.com
.

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