Infection control issues in the clinical area
In the US the Centre of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that roughly 1.7 million hospital-associated infections, from all types of micro-organisms including bacteria combined, cause or contribute to 99,000 deaths each year.
In Europe where hospital surveys have been conducted, the categories of Gram-Negative infections are estimated to account for two-thirds of the 25,000 deaths in Europe each year. Nosocomial infections can cause severe pneumonia and infections of the urinary tract, bloodstream and other parts of the body. Many types are difficult to attack with antibiotics, and antibiotic resistance is spreading to Gram-negative bacteria that can infect people inside as well as outside the hospital.
These micro-organisms and bacteria are spread in several ways in a hospital, and are more at risk of spreading when patients are moved around from clinical area to clinical area
There are no medical facilities in the world today that don’t have some kind of patient stretcher to take patients from one clinical area to another
Hospital stretchers ensure the safe transportation of all kinds of patients from different clinical areas, from wards from accident and emergency and even from other hospital sites.
Due to the very nature of this type of medical device they will carry multiple patients in a day, they may carry multiple patients with multiple strains of MRSA, VRE, C-Diff and other deadly micro-organisms – cross contamination in this arena is a real risk.
The drug-resistant Gram-negative germs for the most part threaten only hospitalised patients whose immune systems are weak. The germs can survive for a long time on surfaces in the hospital, for example furniture, beds, trolleys and other equipment; and can enter the body through wounds, catheters, and ventilators.
So to add to the risk some patients will have minor surgical or invasive procedures carried out on the stretcher, increasing the risk of contamination. In this and many other scenarios in a busy hospital it is vital to have stretchers that can be quickly and easily cleaned.