Environmental considerations for infection control during wound measurement
Although we think of hospitals and clinics as the places people go to get well, they are also home to and a breeding ground for some nasty pathogens. Minimizing the risk of both causing and spreading infections within hospitals is a crucial performance indicator for hospital management as well as obviously being key for their patients’ health.
When wounds are being assessed and measured, there are two key factors that must be considered to minimize the risk of cross contamination—the amount of contact there is with a wound and the level of disinfection that can be achieved with any devices used.
Traditional wound assessment methods involve invasive techniques to measure the depth and size of wounds, which can expose patients to the risk of hospital-acquired infection not to mention considerable discomfort. Non-contact measuring and assessment devices such as tablet computers, smart phones and other hand-held devices are now more commonly used to provide non-contact wound measurement. However, many hospital-associated pathogens are capable of surviving on these surfaces, making them also a potential source for the transmission of infection.
Disinfecting wipes along with rigorous hand hygiene, is usually the essential first-line of defense against infectious organisms in hospitals. However, most device manufacturers do not allow any cleaning methods other than the use of a dry fleece to clean their tablet devices without voiding the warranty. This study of the use tablet PCs in a clinical setting shows that the normal use of tablet PCs leads to a remarkable amount of microbial surface contamination, which can be reduced through the use of disinfecting wipes, but this is not advised by the manufacturer and may in fact lead to losing the device warranty.
Practitioners seeking the benefits of non-contact wound assessment technology without exacerbating hospital-acquired infection risk should look to use a wound assessment technology that can be chemically disinfected. The SilhouetteStar is a purpose-built 3D wound-measuring and imaging device, which will soon be available in wireless format, that can be wiped using bleach-based cloths with a chlorine concentration of up to 10%. Silhouette is also the only wound imaging device that has FDA approval (number: K070426) in the USA, and CE approvals for Europe.
As the SilhouetteStar is a non-contact device, it can be sanitized after use in clinical settings. Silhouette provides a unique solution for health practitioners who are looking to reduce the risk of causing unnecessary suffering that may come from hospital-acquired infections.
Quality and Regulatory Manager
Document Number: 2016-00266