Tuesday, November 26, 2019

New Category of Screen Protection Aims to Help Prevent Infections

There is a major issue in healthcare that isn’t getting proper coverage. Almost a hundred thousand people are dying in the US per year as a result of healthcare-acquired infections (HAIs.) In comparison, diabetes led to roughly 80,000 deaths in 2017. Yet diabetes is constantly on people’s minds and garners a lot of media attention, while HAIs are treated like an afterthought, despite causing more mortalities. According to The Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 80% of infections are transmitted by hands. But what hasn’t been accounted for is the enormous quantity of screens that are now serving as an extension of people’s hands, but not getting cleaned nearly as often, if ever. According to Dr. Charles Gerba a microbiology professor at the University of Arizona, "Mobile phones are now mobile germ devices."

Interestingly enough, this problem is not restricted to hospitals. Touch screen displays have become part of the restaurant experience with many top chains such as McDonald’s, Olive Garden and Panera Bread implementing them as a way to lessen labor costs. This side of the equation has no doubt been a success. But like in the healthcare industry, there were some unexpected effects of this shift. One might expect certain kinds of bacteria to be present in a hospital setting, but the last place they would expect to see fecal bacteria is on their burger.

According to Dr. Paul Matewele, a senior lecturer in microbiology at London Metropolitan University “We were all surprised how much gut and fecal bacteria there was on the touchscreen machines. These cause the kind of infections that people pick up in hospitals. For instance, Enterococcus faecalis is part of the flora of gastrointestinal tracts of healthy humans and other mammals. It is notorious in hospitals for causing hospital-acquired infections.”

The main roadblock to this is that when these commonly used and expensive screens are disinfected with the proper cleaning agents, the screens themselves deteriorate. One may believe that because Apple, Samsung and Google recommend that most cleaning agents not be used on their devices, that the devices are safe to be used without adequate disinfection. This is a dangerous fallacy.

When buying a screen protector, it’s important to look for the following qualities: It must protect the screen from impact and be scratch-resistant. It must allow it to withstand harsh cleaning products that properly disinfect the device. It must also contain anti-microbial product protection.

Seal Shield, a leader in Infection Solutions, is launching a brand-new category of custom screen protectors that addresses each of these concerns and allows for a disinfection routine such as cleaning with bleach, isopropyl alcohol or other common commercial cleaners, which can help prevent infections. It’s called Seal Screen and it’s a truly trailblazing product with both business and consumer application. They custom make each one to fit any size screen. There is no reason why a germ-carrying device that follows people everywhere or is touched by masses shouldn’t be able to be properly disinfected.

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