"Self-cleaning" surface technology reduces HAIs

An antimicrobial surface coating called SurfaceWise is effective at reducing the number of hospital surface bacteria by more than 99 percent at least eight weeks after its application, according to a study published in the American Journal of Infection Control.

SurfaceWise is a coating that can be applied to nearly any surface. It binds with the surface on a molecular level, forming a shield that makes it hard for microbes to survive.

For the study, SurfaceWise was applied to 95 sites in an ICU at a major Southern California hospital and then followed for a 15-week period. Cultures were collected from patient room surfaces like bed rails, bed controls, tray tables and wall sinks, as well as nursing station and lobby areas. The staff maintained their routine cleaning protocols.

Before applying the product, antibiotic-resistant bacteria were found on one-quarter of the sampled sites. After its application, no such bacteria were found on any site for eight weeks. Past the eight-week mark, the level of bacteria never returned to the levels recorded prior to applying SurfaceWise, according to the study.

"Cleaning and disinfecting can effectively remove pathogens from surfaces, but studies have shown that more than half the time, surfaces are not adequately cleaned through traditional methods," said Charles P. Gerba, PhD, professor at the University of Arizona and member of the scientific advisory board of Allied BioScience, which makes SurfaceWise. "Plus, these surfaces can be recontaminated within minutes. The study of SurfaceWise has found this technology to continuously keep healthcare environments free of harmful pathogens for up to three months after application."

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