Many infectious diseases can be halted in their tracks by the routine disinfection and sterilisation of medical devices. Metrex explains how the proper use of medical disinfectants can help contain and prevent the spread of harmful bacteria and viruses.

Based on CDC’s healthcare-associated infection prevalence survey released in March 2014, on any given day, about one in 25 hospital patients has at least one healthcare-associated infection (HAI).

The cause

Infectious diseases such as tuberculosis, mucormycosis (a flesh-eating fungal infection) and AIDS are mostly caused by pathogens including bacteria, fungi and viruses.

In 2012, infectious disease, maternal, neonatal and nutrition conditions were collectively responsible for 23% (12.9 million) of deaths worldwide, according to WHO. HAIs are infections that patients acquire while receiving treatment for another condition in a healthcare setting. They can be acquired anywhere healthcare is delivered, including inpatient acute care hospitals, outpatient settings (such as ambulatory surgical centres and end-stage renal disease facilities), and long-term care facilities such as nursing homes and rehabilitation centres. Many of these infections could be avoided by following CDC guidelines for the use of a chemical medical disinfectant and the proper procedure for the sterilisation or disinfection of patientcare equipment.

The cure

Disinfection is the process of eradicating pathogens on environmental surfaces, reusable medical devices and other objects. It can be accomplished with the use of chemical or physical agents. Clinical evidence has increasingly shown that proper disinfection is able to disrupt transmission pathways, which is further linked to reduced HAIs. These evidence-based infection prevention studies warrant the importance of proper disinfection of environmental surfaces and reusable medical devices in hospitals.

Longest AER cycle period

MetriCide OPA Plus Solution is a convenient, ready-to-use, high-level disinfectant that provides a broad spectrum of kill including tuberculosis, hepatitis A (AER), hepatitis B, HIV-1 and poliovirus type 1. It can disinfect a wide range of endoscopes and other heat-sensitive, semi-critical medical devices.

MetriCide OPA Plus Solution is a 0.6% ortho-phthalaldehyde (OPA) solution that can be used for reprocessing heat-sensitive, semi-critical medical devices for which sterilisation is not suitable and for those that are used and reused. MetriCide OPA Plus can be used for a period of up to 74 cycles in AER, according to the labelled directions for use, while others are only valid for 40 cycles.

Use and reuse

MetriCide OPA Plus may be used or reused at or above its minimum recommended concentration (MRC) of 0.3%, as determined by the MetriCide OPA Plus Solution Test Strips, in manual reprocessing, with an immersion time of at least 12 minutes at a minimum of 20ºC, for a reuse period not exceeding 30 days. MetriCide OPA Plus Solution may also be used or reused in a legally marketed AER that can be set to a minimum of 25ºC, at or above its MRC, with an immersion time of at least five minutes at a minimum of 25ºC, for a reuse period not exceeding 14 days.

Metrex works to provide value-added consumable products and services in global healthcare environments. It offers a complete line of high-quality enzymatic detergents, high-level disinfectants/sterilants, surface disinfectants for use in hospitals, liquid medical waste disposal products, hand hygiene products, eye shields and MRSA infection prevention products. The products are specifically designed for healthcare markets such as acute care; primary care; ASCs; EMS, fire and police services; extended care; and the public sector.