Tag Archives: hospitals

How to take the heat off super-busy hospitals

Girl magician casting spell
Germ-nasteous Disappearium! Hydrogen peroxide zaps all pathogens immediately

We’re not all ill. There is no epidemic.

Yet every one of our hospitals is jammed packed with people anxiously seeking attention.

How come?

Hospital overload

Anyone would think we’re a bunch of fraidy-cat hypochondriacs.

Maybe we are.

But the people crowded into waiting rooms up and down the country are mostly there because there’s no place else to go.

  • Their GP won’t see them, he’s closed after-hours and they can’t get an appointment.
  • The 111 service can’t sort out the problem, so it’s referred them to A&E.
  • Their pharmacy is concerned about symptoms and has done the same thing.

Which puts a whole bunch of people in a queue, all waiting for one thing.

Diagnosis.

Well actually, for somebody to tell them what’s wrong, with a suggestion of how to fix it.

“Take two aspirin and call me in the morning.”

And because they’re ordinary non-medical folk, half of them are convinced their condition is more serious than it is. There’s no family Doc with “There, there, it’s all right. Take two aspirin and call me in the morning”.

All they know is, they don’t feel well.

Which of course, can be caused by a whole slew of things.

But unless it’s an accident or an underlying condition, it’s probably germs.

Germs!

Somehow, they’ve come down with a bug.

Which nine times out of ten, should never have happened in the first place.

Sloppy hygiene. Hands not washed. Gunge from the underside of the sink.

Or just plain unlucky – a nasty stomach-heaving bug floating around at head height in the living room – which wafted in on the coat of the vicar who dropped in for tea , two days ago.

But bugs can be stopped.

DEAD. IN. THEIR. TRACKS.

Because it’s possible to sterilise every room in the country to hospital operating-room levels – no germs at all, anywhere. (Tweet this) Finished. Gone. A total germ desert.

And that’s germs in the air, germs on your clothes, germs on furniture, drapes, carpets, walls, ceilings, light fittings, everywhere – you name it. Total room sterility.

The only place germs can’t get clobbered is outside in the big outdoors. Or inside somebody who’s already got them. So if Hooray Harriet sneezes all over you, chances are you’re going to come down with it.

But not if you walk into a room where the germ threshold is zero.

And that can be any room in the house, your office, the restaurant in the High Street, and the council offices round the corner.

Safe as houses

How’s it done?

Good old Nineteenth Century hydrogen peroxide. The same stuff you can buy in the chemist for less than a quid a bottle. Grandma used it for disinfecting stuff and sterilising her teeth.

Maybe even put some of it on you when you grazed your knee – fizzing round the edges while it KILLED THE GERMS.

Yes, but this is hydrogen peroxide with a difference. Souped up with Twenty-First Century technology.

A nifty electronic machine about the size of a small wheelie-bin sprays an ultra-fine IONISED mist of it up into the air so it spreads everywhere throughout the room.

All the air space – under, over, behind and round the back of stuff – all surfaces, everywhere.

Good ol’ aitch-two-oh-two

Ionised means it’s active. It reaches out and grabs things – drawn to them by static charge. But harmless once it’s done its work.

Twenty minutes later, all germs are destroyed. Because hydrogen peroxide works by ripping them to pieces with oxygen atoms. Blown apart in millions of microscopic explosions.

All viruses, all bacteria. Even the dreaded Ebola, in the unlikely event that you’ve got it lurking.

And they can’t come back if they’re busted to bits.

Which is how we take the heat off hospitals.

We just don’t go there, because there’s no need.

We’re too busy being healthy.

As long as everywhere is treated with this stuff, we’re all OK.

We wish.

Because it takes a long time for us to learn.

Look how long it took before double glazing and central heating took centre-stage in our homes.

Ah well. But we do know some folks who are working on it.

Originally posted 2015-02-12 14:11:42.

Killer fungus candida auris is NOT getting a chance in our hospitals

No to candida auris
It might be a global threat, but with our hydrogen peroxide protection, it’s not going to find a home here

Persistent and multi-drug resistant, the new candida auris superbug is not a pandemic yet, and despite fears of its rampant onset, is not going to be.

Worrying because unlike most funguses, it seems to spread from person to person – a yeast that colonises the skin and therefore transfers on contact.

It’s also nosocomial, particularly present in hospitals where it targets the already ill – those patients with surgical incisions or intravenous feeds, apertures in the body that provide the way in.

That makes it a real hazard to patients and health care givers – easily contaminating clothing, linen, bedrails, chairs, catheters and all kinds of surrounding equipment. A “touch it if you dare” situation requiring isolation if possible – a strain on already stretched NHS resources.

Hard to come clean

To make things more difficult, candida auris is also resilient against the usual cleaning agents. Recommended is chlorine-based treatment at 1,000ppm dilution – as strong as can be risked without harming surroundings.

Even so, the bug persists, frequently demanding action the hard way – repeated deep cleans and the closing down of ward and ICU facilities among the 35 hospitals affected.

One of them however knows it’s got the bug beaten – showing the way for others to get themselves candida auris-free. We can’t tell which hospital it is, as all work of this nature has to be confidential.

Suffice it to say though, that after two deep cleans and much worry, one particular hospital has solved the problem overnight and banished candida auris from its corridors.

Clearing up with mist

The solution?

Misting up affected areas with ionised hydrogen peroxide – a quick and effective way to neutralise ALL germs immediately.

This process does require facilities to be completely vacated – though it is possible to section off areas with  protective PVC sheeting and handle the job piecemeal.

Once clear, the hydrogen peroxide is released into the air, to spread in all directions and against all surfaces. The ionising forces wide dispersal and electrostatic attraction to pathogens – clamping to them like magnets and ripping them apart by oxidising them.

The hospital involved made one phone call and 24 hours later the job was done – all clear and back to normal, ready for the onset of winter. No candida auris, no anything – sterilised, safe and secure.

Good to know we have effective defences – especially with authorities like Forbes magazine and America’s CDC regarding candida auris as a global threat.

Our antibiotics price-tag: weaker, more vulnerable

Unhappy fat girl
Galloping obesity – the one effect of antibiotics nobody wants to talk about

They save lives.

Modern surgery would be impossible without them.

Anywhere an incision needs infection control – unthinkable without effective antibiotics to protect us from harmful pathogens.

Introducing non-miracles

Wonder-drugs, but beginning to be useless.

Because after more than half a century of intensive and continuous use – numerous bacteria have developed resistance – our miracle medicines are about as effective as Smarties.

Any visit to hospital, any accident or infection, and we’re all of us susceptible to an increasingly common slew of superbugs – MRSA, salmonella, streptococcus, c.difficile, TB, gonorrhoea and e.coli.

Which means doctors can’t use antibiotics in the critical situations where they need to. Not without taking chances. Or working the long way round. The hard way.

By ramping hygiene levels up high enough that infection can’t happen – washing hands, and making the surroundings sterile.

Hike up hygiene levels or else

Which is why a lot of hospitals are advancing beyond traditional wipe and scrub methods. Just because it smells of chlorine doesn’t mean it’s sterile. Nor does rub-and-scrub always disinfect everything. Under tables, behind cupboards, tangles of cable get missed out.

So does the air itself, probably 80% of any room space. More crucial than most of us ever realise, with each of us trailing around our own personal bio-plume of bacteria unique to each of us. Personal good bacteria – and personal bad bacteria – possibly harmless to ourselves, but a real problem to anyone with an underlying health condition.

Knowing this, hospitals are starting to treat air spaces just as much as surfaces. Pulsing them with ultraviolet light – or misting them up with hydrogen peroxide.

Count on it, we’ll soon start seeing similar procedures everywhere – at work, in schools, in restaurants and hotels, on planes, ships and buses – regular treatment to keep them sterile.

With good reason.

The dirty secret

Because there’s a massive downside to antibiotics that we’re only now becoming aware of – one that government and big business are trying very hard to keep quiet.

They’re making us weaker and more fragile than we were – less resilient, with less stamina – not the invincibles we once were. Compare us with our grandparents back in the in the 50’s and we’re a sorry shadow of ourselves.

All from over-use of antibiotics on an industrial scale – a world consumption 65,000 tons a year and rising rapidly.

But not in medicine – in agriculture.

You see, back in the 50’s, when antibiotics were discovered, the farming industry picked them up as healthcare for livestock. So much of farming involves mud and dirt that hygiene is next to impossible.

Antibiotics gave farmers a way of compensating for the lack of it. Their animals were protected against disease and infection by regular additions to their feed. Their profits were protected too.

Very soon, they began to notice something else. That animals on antibiotics, particularly fed from young, developed faster and bulked up heavier – bigger and more impressive, ready for market earlier – AND didn’t eat so much.

That did it. Because the principle worked everywhere. Beef cattle, dairy cattle, pigs, sheep, poultry – all of them developed faster, bigger – for even better profits.

Which is how the farming industry worldwide gets through 65,000 tons a year – in all likelihood set to double in the next ten years. Everybody wins, brilliant.

We’re the losers

Except for us.

Because the animals are on antibiotics all the time, right? Not like us, taking them for 10 days to clear an illness – regular doses in every feed, every day.

So antibiotics are in their systems – and have been for 50 years.

Which means they’re in us too. Not to the same level of course, but a regular part of our diet, every single day.

Not just in meat either. Livestock manure is highly prized as a high performance fertiliser. So there’s antibiotics in plants too – in varying quantities. In tubers such as potatoes – they’re pretty concentrated. The great British staple – mash, boiled, chips. We’re mainlining on the stuff.

You can see where this is going, can’t you? From the soil into the plants. And from the soil into the watercourses, leaching into the aquifers, into our rivers and streams, our reservoirs – ready and waiting for us at every twist of a tap.

Uh huh. For the last 50 years, every mouthful we’ve taken of pretty well anything has had antibiotics in it.

And if you think about how antibiotics work, they’re not exactly kind to us. They kill bacteria – and inside us that’s brutal. Because down in our gut there are more than 100 trillion bacteria living harmoniously – a synergistic arrangement where they do the work and we take it easy.

Bacteria digest most of our food for us. They make proteins to power us up. They even help regulate our immune system – set a good bacteria to catch a bad bacteria, a deal our bodies made with them millions of years ago, when we crawled out from under a rock.

But antibiotics kill bacteria. Not just the bad ones, but a lot of the good ones as well. Ones that we need to keep our bodies well. Suddenly clobbered because they were there. They got in the way. Killed in the fallout.

An internal atom bomb

Because that’s kind what it’s like when an antibiotic capsule dissolves in your belly. An atom bomb going off – among a population of trillions. Which is how, very often, a course of antibiotics can bring on a whole wodge of side effects – cramps, vomiting, diarrhoea, itches, rashes, wooziness, the works.

Yeah, the bad guy bacteria get killed. A lot of the good guys get killed, maimed or orphaned at the same time. They don’t perform as they used to – they’re weak, crippled, prevented from doing stuff. And it’s our bodies that suffer the consequences.

OK, penicillin – 1955. Discovered by Sir Alexander Fleming, sixty years ago.

Which means pretty well every one of us grew up with antibiotics being fed to us every day. Three meals a day, 365 days a year – every day for the thirty years we might have grown up to today – 32,850 doses of antibiotics in our system. No wonder we’re weakening!

Like allergies. Where do they come from? Rare as hen’s teeth back in the Fifties. Common as anything now. Peanuts, milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, soy, wheat – where will it end. And why?

A glitch in the system

Because our bacteria took a hit, that’s why.

And they’ve been taking a hit every day since before birth – because Mum’s diet had antibiotics in it too. So our immune systems are reprogrammed – hacked and rearranged, so they glitch when there’s nothing there – or kick in when they’re not supposed to.

Exactly when we need more protection because antibiotics don’t work, we’re weakened, more disease-prone and less able to recover from the same cause.

All done by antibiotics.

And here’s the kicker – the final insult.

They make us bulk up too. Particularly in early years. Just like the cows and pigs and lambs and chickens. Bulk up big and develop faster.

Except we call it getting fat. Doctors call it obesity.

Yes we can blame our diet too – however we try to finagle it. Too much carbohydrates, cut back on proteins, eat more vitamins – makes no difference.

Because regardless of what we eat, it’s sure to have antibiotics in it.

And yes, fatness is in our genes – but our genes are modified by our bacteria. And our bacteria are fighting with their hands tied behind their backs.

One hell of a price-tag, hey?