It’s Hollywood’s oldest cliché.
The white-gloved finger running along a surface – and the dirty smudge that results.
Just because a thing looks clean doesn’t mean it is.
Except we know that. Which is why we attack everything with disinfectants the way we do.
Looks are deceiving
We know about germs – and we know they live in dirt.
But sussing whether a thing is clean or not is still a problem.
If you’ve got the time and patience, you can try one of those fancy CSI jobbies that show up where the bloodstains are. Bioluminescence that glows under UV light. Hidden germs – lurking.
Which is a nightmare that’s even worse in hospitals. HAIs – hospital acquired infections – are the most frustrating and deadly challenge of our age.
Argh, it’s infuriating! Here is a facility specially created to make people well – only for them to catch a superbug and die.
And it happens, even though staff are meticulous with their cleaning procedures. Latex gloves, so nothing is touched directly. Every surface swabbed with bleach.
Next second, everyone is down with diarrhoea – even patients in special care and on antibiotics. Especially them, it often seems. Clostridium difficile (c.diff) – a killer bacterium that seems to thrive in health care centres – accounting for around 2,000 deaths a year in UK.
This is a real nasty that seems to lurk everywhere. Swab, scrub, swab, scrub – but repeat infections become a vicious cycle.
Because it’s not just on surfaces, it’s in hidden corners and cracks – those unavoidable crevices between furniture and machines – where hand-wipe cleaning just cannot reach.
Desperate to try anything, Vancouver General Hospital is running tests with a tracker dog. Like an airport bomb-sniffer, Angus the springer spaniel is specially trained to sniff out clostridium difficile wherever it inevitably tries to hide. In the cracks in walls, floors, and under sinks – out of sight, out of mind – until the next uncontrollable dash for the loo.
Effective, sure – and a heart-warming story.
Except the cracks still have to be properly cleaned and disinfected. It takes time to sniff out a whole hospital ward too. And even then, conventional cleaners may not actually kill the bug.
There are questions too – about the wisdom of bringing a dog into a hospital in the first place.
An effective rescue
All problems that dissolve into nothing by using hydrogen peroxide.
Many hospitals will be familiar with hydrogen peroxide fogging to get rid of germs.
Few of them stick with it because it’s a schlep – rooms have to be evacuated for the spray to be applied – and out of action for hours while the stuff dries out.
Unless of course, they’re using a Hypersteriliser.
No more schlep, no more wet spray.
The dry mist from this small and easily handled machine is ionised.
Ultra-fine particles of hydrogen peroxide are charged like a plasma to disperse quickly in all directions. Upwards, outwards, underneath and behind things – penetrating deep into inaccessible crevices – dynamically attracted there, exactly where c. diff likes to hide.
Not just c.diff either – but all viruses and bacteria that may be present.
Like magnets, the charged particles of hydrogen peroxide actively reach out and grab at the cells of harmful pathogens – ripping through them with oxygen atoms to destroy them completely.
Another super-effective germ killer, colloidal silver, boosts this action so the hydrogen peroxide is three times more effective. A miniscule film of it is left behind on surfaces as an ongoing microbial barrier.
And after its oxidising attack, the hydrogen peroxide itself breaks down into harmless oxygen and water, which quickly evaporates into nothing.
So yes, there might be cracks all round us where germs can hide. But they’re not going to get very far with this kind of protection. Sterilised, safe and secure.
Let’s get HAIs down – and antibiotic-resistant bugs out on their ear.
We’ve hiked our hygiene habits to a whole new level.
Originally posted 2015-03-16 13:03:05.