The prevalence of health-care associated infections (HAIs) all around the world is high. Of every hundred hospitalized patients, seven in developed and ten in developing countries can acquire one of the healthcare associated infections. Populations at stake are patients in Intensive Care Units (ICUs), burn units, undergoing organ transplant and neonates.
According to Extended Prevalence of Infection in Intensive Care study, the proportion of infected patients within the ICU are often as high as 51%. Based on extensive studies in USA and Europe shows that HCAI incidence density ranged from 13.0 to 20.3 episodes per thousand patient-days. Depending on the type of infection, death rates range from 2% (for Surgical site infections) up to as high as 25% (for Central line-associated bloodstream infections).
As hospital surfaces potentially are heavily contaminated with micro-organisms such as bacteria, viruses and fungal parasites, environmental cleanliness can be considered an essential aspect to reduce HAIs. However, we know from observational studies that less than 50% of hospital room surfaces are adequately cleaned and disinfected. Moreover, healthcare workers are important vectors in the transmission of micro-organisms between different surfaces, wards or patients.
Novel materials and cleaning techniques have been developed, but most are expensive and can only be safely used for terminal cleaning (e.g. ultraviolet germicidal irradiation, hydrogen peroxide vapor, etcetera). Self-sanitizing (disinfecting) surfaces circumvent most of these problems. With the application of AGuard™, surfaces will continuously reduce the bioburden of pathogens, potentially preventing their transmission and as a consequence may decrease HAIs as well as antimicrobial resistance.