Blog - Superbugs are changing healthcare

Airborne bacteria is a main source of the feared Surgical Site Infection (SSI). They cause many deaths and suffering that also consumes health care resources that could have been used better. Today, healthcare relies on curing infections using antibiotics, but as superbugs resistant to drugs are rapidly becoming more common, we need to redesign how care is given. Prevention will become much more important, which in the case of SSIs means investing in innovations such as ultra-clean air systems that prevent the bacteria from entering the wounds in the first place.

Tags: Airborne bacteria, SSI, AMR, Ultra-clean air during surgery, Opragon, Avidicare, SVT, American Journal of Infection Control

Anti-microbial resistance is a growing health risk today and in the future

The current development of AMR is growing into a global worry. The current levels of SSIs are kept to somewhere between 1-5% with the use of antibiotics during and after surgery. The long-term challenge is that antibiotics are experiencing reduced or completely lost effectiveness due to superbugs. They are bacteria that cannot be killed by antibiotics.

In fact, the Swedish national television recently ran a special report on SSIs that pointed to the importance of antibiotics:

”The WHO estimates that ten million people die every year as a result of bacterial infections that antibiotics can’t kill. 25 000 of them live in Europe. Approximately 400 of them are Swedes, according to the Swedish National board of health and welfare” (svt.se, 2018)

It is also important to note that antibiotics are not only essential for fighting infections but also crucial for enabling certain treatments, including cancer.

”(…) antibiotics is crucial in the healthcare system, not only for treating infections, it is also a pre-requisite for a successful outcome of many different treatments and surgeries, such as chemotherapy.” (svt.se, 2018)

The special report pointed to the risk of performing surgery at all on patients that are infected with superbugs.

”-Today we take many things for granted. To be able to get a hip replacement, for example, we might not be able to do that in the future. This is especially true if the patient carries a superbug, then we may have to refrain from at all performing the surgery." (svt.se, 2018)

The right OR ventilation system reduces airborne bacteria levels during surgery

At Avidicare we have more than ten years’ of experience from installing more than 130 OR ventilation units at leading academic hospitals in Northern Europe. We have during this period amassed a weight of scientific evidence illustrating the effectiveness of the Opragon system to create ultra-clean air conditions during surgery. This is in line with scientific recommendations, such as recently published in the Journal of Infection Control.

“Future considerations should be given to institutional investment in innovative air purification technologies as an adjunctive strategy to enhance current engineering controls in an effort to reduce the risk of Perioperative Joint Infections” (AJOIFC, 2018)

There are additional scientific articles illustrating the effectiveness of the Opragon ventilation system as well as comparison with other technologies in the market today.

Learn more about how you and your organization can reduce the risk of Surgical Site Infections on avidicare.com or through the linked resources below.

Further reading

There are many relevant publications that illustrate the importance of ultra-clean air during surgery to reduce the risk of infection from superbugs and AMR side effects.

WHO

The WHO information resource on antimicrobial resistance:  http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs194/en/

Swedish national broadcasting organisation

https://www.svt.se/nyheter/inrikes/allt-fler-svenskar-dor-av-superbakterierna

The Journal of Hospital Infection

Temperature-controlled airflow ventilation in operating rooms compared with laminar airflow and turbulent mixed airflow, M.Alsved et al, The Journal of Hospital Infection, 2018

http://www.journalofhospitalinfection.com/article/S0195-6701(17)30579-0/abstract

American Journal of Infection Control

“Environment of care: Is it time to reassess microbial contamination of the operating room air as a risk factor for surgical site infection in total joint arthroplasty”, Parvizi et al, American Journal of Infection Control, 2017