Disinfectant wipes reduce HCAIs


31st July 2019


We've been inspired by the recent study from researchers at University Hospitals Birmingham (UHB) to write a series of blog posts on one-step detergent-disinfectant wipes.

This first post in the series sets out why you may choose a one-step disinfectant wipe (wipes that both clean and disinfect in one) over other methods (e.g. a detergent wipe or a liquid disinfectant in a bucket), and explores the evidence behind using these disinfectant wipes.

Further posts in the series will cover how to choose the right disinfectant wipe, the importance of training in getting the best out of disinfectant wipes, and how disinfectant wipes can save you time and money.

Compelling evidence says that contaminated surfaces contribute to the transmission of pathogens associated with Healthcare Associated Infections (HCAIs). Wipes are increasingly used to clean and/or disinfect surfaces and equipment.

Wipes improve compliance with environmental hygiene processes (compared with wet cloths and sprays), and reduce the reliance on individual cleaners to get the disinfectant dosing and distribution correct. For example, in one study, the introduction of Clinell Universal wipes improved compliance with cleaning sharps trays from 10% to 76%. Wipes also protect against over- or under-wetting a surface, and are more effective at reducing microbial burden.

10-76% compliane

One-step detergent-disinfectant wipes (such as Clinell Universal Wipes) also protect against issues associated with detergent-only products (whether liquid detergents or detergent wipes).

Studies show that, because detergents aim to remove microbial contamination rather than killing it, if not used correctly, they can end up transferring contamination between surfaces. This means that cleaning staff are potentially doing more harm than good!

One-step detergent-disinfectant wipes aim to kill microbes so are not prone to transfer them between surfaces. The use of a single-step wipe reduces the potential for user error.

There is emerging evidence that introducing one-step detergent-disinfectant wipes results in a reduction in transmission of pathogens associated with HCAIs. The best example is the study from UHB.

Introducing one-step Clinell Universal Wipes (which both clean and disinfect) for nurse-led cleaning tasks resulted in a statistically significant 55% reduction in the rate of MRSA acquisition.

Clinell Universal Wipes replaced a two-stage method of cleaning (with detergent wipes) followed by drying and then disinfection (with alcohol wipes). The authors highlighted the importance of human factors when considering any cleaning product. They reasoned that the simplified approach to cleaning and disinfection of Clinell Universal Wipes could have been a contributor to their observed reduction in MRSA.

Additionally, there are other examples of where the introduction of disinfectant wipes has resulted in a significant reduction in HCAIs caused by a variety of pathogens.

One-step detergent-disinfectant wipes are important tools in the fight against HCAIs. Disinfectant wipes make environmental hygiene faster, easier, and more effective than mop and bucket type methods, and have been shown to reduce HCAIs.

When it comes to infection prevention, best practice is just as important as using the best product. GAMA is launching ‘Clean Between,’ to break the chain of infection, support infection prevention professionals and protect patients.

To help stop the spread of infection, we’re running ‘Clean Between’ events all over the country. Find out more here.

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