Recurring hospital-acquired infections: Focus now on COVID-19 – The LumiBio Solution

hospital-acquired infections
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Andrew Metcalfe, Biotech Specialist at LumiBio discusses the persistent problem of hospital-acquired infections, and why now is the time to focus on reducing COVID-19 transmission in clinical settings using the LumiBio solution

Newspapers – tabloid and broadsheet, have been reporting rising numbers of COVID-19 cases being contracted whilst in hospital for some time, all based on interpretation of NHS data. A recent Telegraph headline – “More than 10,000 patients caught COVID-19 while being treated in hospital”. (1) Joining the throng in December was the Health Service Journal, quoting just under 25% of current cases probably caught in hospital. (2)

The definitive numbers will hopefully become clear later this year when COG-UK reports the findings of its study, currently ongoing at several UK hospitals. But can we really wait until then to act?

It is time to accept that a sizeable number of cases are most likely acquired in hospital. Unfortunately, some of these people will be in hospital due to an underlying condition and therefore at higher risk of mortality.

I recently spoke with a clinician who had just undergone surgery and whilst in hospital, had to tell nurses to wear their masks properly. Laziness? Ignorance? Neither. More likely fatigue with the continual pressure.

Any system placed under stress will start to weaken, right now the NHS is under more pressure than ever before. It would be unfair to add to this pressure by bringing in further systems to follow. Any solution must be compatible with the reality of the current workload.

Fig 1. ICC analysis

LumiBio Infection, Prevention and Control system

The LumiBio Infection, Prevention and Control system is delivered via a managed service into live environments. LumiBio enhances traditional cleaning and IPC regimes to eradicate the risk of infection for patients, staff, and the environment they are in. LumiBio requires absolutely no input from NHS staff nor changes to existing cleaning practices.

The unique way in which LumiBio works is the only IPC system currently available that has none of the risks associated with using aggressive bleach and chlorine-based products or UV light or ozone generators. LumiBio has been independently tested against a wide range of pathogens, including SARS-CoV-2. The service is delivered via LumiBio dry mist units (requiring no special installation) with no downtime or loss of resources meaning there is no impact on facility availability. Uniquely, LumiBio provides as standard, regular, and routine environmental testing. This provides critical data to cleanliness audits, and CQC inspections, removing the current subjective nature of visual assessments.

LumiBio has demonstrated outstanding results in a range of health and social care environments, including ‘hot’ and ‘cold’ COVID-19 areas.

The Integrated Care Centre is one of the largest primary care facilities delivered by LIFT in the UK. This multi-tenanted facility delivers a wide range of community services, including COVID-19 (Testing & Triage).

Fig 2. St Marys analysis

St Mary’s Hospice in Ulverston supports people and their families in the local community. People are referred into the unit for a variety of reasons, for support in managing symptoms, emotional and family support and for end-of-life care. These people are often living with illnesses that negatively impact their lives. Many are people who will be at high risk of infection, either due to their condition, or are receiving immunosuppressant drugs.

The LumiBio dry mist units have been installed in critical clinical areas at both sites, including the Hot COVID-19 area at the ICC. Normal cleaning regimes provided by FM and clinical teams were not affected or adjusted, and no additional tasks were required by these teams.

The efficacy of the LumiBio treatment is monitored routinely via the normal managed service element of undertaking daily environmental testing. This analysis records and compares the effectiveness of the LumiBio treatment against areas that are subject to traditional cleaning only.

The results are and continue to be outstanding

Since the commencement of LumiBio, this advanced IPC method has recorded and maintained close to zero pathogen levels at these sites, including the high-risk COVID-19 testing area. Areas subject to traditional cleaning methods only have recorded spikes in pathogen levels even with traditional and deep cleaning regimes in place which have highlighted the potential for increased infection risks to staff and patients in these areas. This analysis emphasises that traditional and routine cleaning regimes cannot eradicate infection risks alone.

Reducing the rate of hospital-acquired COVID-19 will undoubtedly save lives. It will also reduce the pressure on already stretched resources and staff. Whilst not as headline hitting as vaccination, reducing transmission of COVID-19 in the NHS is a vital part of recovery from the current pandemic, LumiBio will achieve this and safeguard critical NHS infrastructure from future pandemics.



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