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The Benefits of Using Nonwovens In Medical Products



Published August 18, 2009
Related Searches: nonwovens Hygiene

The Benefits of Using Nonwovens In Medical Products

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By Helena Engqvist
rnEngqvist Consulting
rnengqvist@bluewin.ch

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rnThe news is filled with updates on the spread of new viruses and bacteria that can develop severe human threats and become pandemics. A few years ago it was SARS, the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome that, according to WHO (World Health Organization) in August 2003, had caused 8422 cases causing 916 deaths, mostly in China. The most recent threat comes from the influenza pandemic caused by the H1N1 virus, or the swine flu that, as of July 2009, had caused 429 deaths and 94,512 cases, as reported by WHO.
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rnBut, one does not need to go so far. The risk of getting a hospital-acquired infection, HAI, while being treated in a hospital can be as much as one in vie. In connection to surgical interventions, numerous patients suffer from wound infections after surgery. While the simplest discipline, proper hand hygiene, can help prevent transmission of disease, it does not always seem so easy.
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rnRecent information from the Euro­pean Center for Disease Pre­vention and Control (ECDC) claims that 4.1 million patients are estimated to acquire healthcare-associated infections in the EU every year. The number of deaths occurring as a direct consequence of these infections is estimated to be at least 37,000, and they contribute to another 110,000 deaths. The result of these infections represents 16 million additional hospital days per year at a cost of €5.5 billion.
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rnIn addition, an estimated 20–30% of healthcare-associated infections are considered to be preventable by intensive hygiene and control programs. Therefore, in a nutshell, the most cost-effective infection prevention programs are education, hygiene protocols and antibiotic policy.
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rnPeople of all ages are vulnerable to infection, although risk groups, like elderly people or people with various illnesses, are more prone to disease and accidents. The risk of contracting infections is also greater due to a slower healing process. Broken or replaced hips and knees require surgery with heightened risk of bacteria and virus attacks, not to mention heart surgery and all kinds of less invasive surgery. Other risks relate to wound infections, especially because of the increasing rates of obesity, diabetes and hard-to-heal wounds.