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Infection Prevention

Infection Prevention and Control

“Deep wound infection rates for primary hip and knee replacements currently range from 0.5 to 4%. If all hospitals achieved 1% this would transform the lives of 6,000 patients and save the NHS £300m per year.” Operational Productivity and Performance in English NHS Acute Hospitals, Lord Carter of Coles

In Quality Standard 61, NICE estimates that 300,000 patients a year in England acquire a healthcare-associated infection (HCAI) as a result of care within the NHS. HCAI places a massive clinical and financial burden on the NHS, and is estimated to cost the NHS in excess of £1 billion annually. It leads to longer hospital stays, costly remedial surgery that puts extra pressure on already busy theatre lists, increased use of antibiotics, and untold distress for the patient and their family. 

Healthcare Associated Infection (HCAI) and Surgical Site Infection (SSI)

Surgical site infection (SSI) is a type of healthcare-associated infection (HCAI) in which a surgical incision site becomes infected after a surgical procedure. It is associated not only with increased morbidity but also with substantial mortality and places a massive clinical and financial burden on the NHS.

SSI accounts for 15.7% of all HCAI, putting it in the top three after respiratory infections and urinary tract infections. Such is its severity that The Lancet recently called SSI “the next frontier in global surgery”.

SSI also contributes to antimicrobial resistance (AMR), often referred to as a global crisis. This is because over-reliance on antibiotics contributes to the increased prevalence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria – antibiotics should only be used when essential, in line with the UK government’s 20-year vision for antimicrobial resistance.

In addition, while antibiotic prophylaxis is effective for preventing SSI in certain procedures, its use carries a risk of adverse effects. 

Airborne Bacteria in the Operating Theatre

The air around us is full of particles such as dust, dirt, soot, smoke and liquid droplets. Some of these particles will be bacteria-carrying, also called ‘colony forming units’ (CFUs).

Bacteriologically, the air in an operating theatre is as dirty as the air anywhere else, only it matters more because of what is happing in the space.

The microbiological contamination or bio-burden of the air in the operating room is generally considered a risk factor for SSI, even during surgery on a ‘clean’ wound.

MAT provides highly effective critical ventilation, laminar flow and decontamination solutions, designed to eliminate airborne bacteria in the operating theatre suite.  This improves surgical outcomes and reduces the need for antibiotics.

Infection Prevention Solutions from MAT

Medical Air Technology is hugely experienced in working in the healthcare field and understands the pressures that our NHS hospitals and private healthcare providers are under to reduce infection rates. To support them, we offer a range of innovative and cost-effective products and services engineered to help reduce the incidence of HCAI and SSI:

Ultraclean ventilation (UCV), as utilised in MAT’s ECO-flow ultraclean ventilation (UCV) system, generates ultraclean air (defined in HTM 03-01 as air containing not more than 10 CFU/m3) over the operating or clean zone.

This is a highly effective way to minimise contaminants at the wound site and reduce the incidence of SSI.  Its use is recommended in the guidelines contained within HTM 03-01 Specialised Ventilation for Healthcare Premises – Part A.

MAT offers a range of energy-efficient UCV canopies, including a screenless model. We are also able to engineer bespoke UCV solutions. Each canopy offers the same outstanding performance around infection control and prevention, and equips your hospital for orthopaedic procedures.

ECO-flow™ ultraclean ventilation canopies

Toul mobile laminar flow solutions

When surgical instruments have been laid out and are awaiting use, up to 50% of their surface area is exposed to the air, providing an ideal place for CFUs to settle. These bacteria are then transferred directly from the surgical instrument to the wound site.

MAT is the UK distributor for the Toul Meditech range of mobile laminar flow solutions:

  • Steristay mobile instrument table – delivers ultraclean air via laminar flow around the surgical instruments.
  • Operio Ceiling and Operio Mobile units – can be used in conventional operating theatres (i.e. those without an ultraclean ventilation canopy) to deliver ultraclean air over the wound site.

MAT lay-up cabinet

The innovative MAT lay-up cabinet creates a sterile field for surgical instrument and prosthetic equipment preparation. The sleek unit can be easily installed in your sterile pack store so there is no theatre downtime. It reduces bioburden and helps in the fight against surgical site infection.

The lay-up cabinet provides approximately 1,000 HEPA-filtered air changes per hour and a 1,000mm safe working zone. It is fully self-contained and has low running costs. It is easy to fit, requiring only a 13amp power supply and taking up as little as 1.4m of wall space (depending on unit chosen).

Touchless hydrogen peroxide decontamination

MAT FM is now able to offer touchless hydrogen peroxide decontamination of operating theatres, recovery areas, critical care, sterile services, aseptic suites, cleanrooms, containment laboratories and all critically ventilated departments. The system always kills 99.99% of harmful pathogens (4-log kill) and achieves 99.999% on C.diff and Geobacillus (6-log kill).

The decontamination can be carried out by our trained service engineers prior to handover of a completed new build or refurbishment project, or as part of a regular periodic maintenance proposition, or as an emergency call-out.

Maintenance and service

MAT FM offers validation, verification, service packages or one-off maintenance visits that keeps your critical ventilation system compliant and operational, providing a safer environment for patient care.

In addition to the ECO-flowultraclean ventilation system, we are able to service UCV canopies provided by any manufacturer.



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