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HOW COVID-19 CHANGED THE WAY WE SEE HYGIENE

The Covid-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc and claimed more than 1.5 million lives to date. While we seek comfort in the news of promising vaccines and sufficient vaccination of the world population, normalization of the extreme pressure on healthcare and society is not in the foreseeable future. With no effective treatment option available, precaution is the best solution. One of the most efficient strategies for limiting the spread of COVID-19 is the implementation of increased hygiene standards.

Hygiene in hospitals

Healthcare workers are at the forefront of this pandemic and they have to deal with patients who are highly infectious on a regular basis. Adherence to hygiene protocols is more important than ever before due to the potency of this disease. However, the implementation of these protocols poses an enormous challenge as the virus is transmitted both from human to human and through contact with contaminated environmental surfaces (1,2,3). Furthermore, stressful hospital routines evidently limit the adherence of health care staff to existing quality standards. With the continued rise in cases and healthcare workers being overworked, a more manageable way to ensure safety in hospitals has been implemented, through the use of single-use equipment, for the most part.

Why we need to change

Tourniquets, one of the most standard items used in day-to-day patient care in hospitals, are on average used for nearly two years and constitute an essential way of healthcare-associated infections. As per studies, more than 70% of scrutinized tourniquets were microbially contaminated, but hardly ever were separate tourniquets used for patients with known infective risk, and only a few adhered to the guidelines of cleaning them in between each patient (1,4,5,6).

For these reasons, a long list of research suggests that reusable tourniquets pose a significant risk of spreading infection (7,8,9) and even advise that their use should be entirely abandoned (10,11).

Most importantly, implementation of infection control measures only achieved a moderate improvement in hygiene standard compliance (5), underlining the inherent flaws of using multi-use equipment on patients.
"Single-use tourniquets could be one of the most effective measures to circumvent this significant risk of healthcare-acquired infections, including COVID-19, related to basic patient care"

Single-Use Tourniquets: The new industry standard?

Single-use tourniquets could be one of the most effective measures to circumvent this significant risk of healthcare-acquired infections, including COVID-19, related to basic patient care. In a recent study, 85% of patients deemed a single-use tourniquet at least as good, if not better than reusable tourniquets and 95% of the surveyed health care professionals found it as easy to use as a reusable tourniquet (12). Disposable tourniquets could not only save patients but also staff from potentially deadly infections as in-hospital transmission has been postulated as one of the main routes of SARS-CoV-2 spreading among health care workers (13).
2020 is a year that will go down in history as a year of firsts. The pandemic has forced the health care system into rethinking its current ways, accelerating the adoption of safer hygiene practices and technologies, eventually saving more lives.



Author:
Dr. Arjudeb M
December 27, 2020
Want to know more?
tournIQ® by Ortrud Medical is a hygienic single-use tourniquet, combining the best features from all commonly used aids into one professional tool for intravenous access. Including a unique indicator for control over pressure much like the manual blood pressure cuff.
If you are interested in trying out tournIQ® at your clinic, please place an order enquiry or request samples through this form.

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