When you think of hospitals, doctors’ surgeries, and healthcare clinics, one should, hopefully, be thinking of a pristine, clean environment. However, this does not happen just because it creates a pleasant environment for patients and healthcare providers; although that is certainly part of the reason, but rather it happens via an incredibly rigorous and important set of processes.
If you’ve ever gone in for major surgery, then you may already know that the first thing surgeons will do is deep clean and disinfect virtually every inch of their bodies before climbing into scrubs and opening you up. This is because, with any kind of invasive operation, the risks of infection and cross-contamination are multiplied several times over by the fact that you no longer have the protective barrier of your skin protecting your insides. Consider then that an open wound provides microorganisms with direct access to the blood, which can then be pumped throughout your entire body, and you begin to understand why this is so vitally important. It is equally important for the surgical team to repeat the process following surgery to reduce the risk of cross-contamination to themselves and/or other parts of the hospital.
Personal Protective Equipment
These are items like alcoholic hand sanitizers, vinyl gloves, and, very importantly, facemasks, which interrupt airborne transmission of influenza-based viruses like Covid. Contrary to popular belief, personal protective equipment (PPE) is less about protecting the wearer and more about protecting others from them. Medical settings must ensure they have the appropriate PPE available to maintain good hygiene.
Something which can be overlooked at times is that not all medical equipment can be reused; in fact, a significant amount of it cannot be, largely due to vital health and safety reasons. These may be instruments such as forceps, including sponge holders, often used in complicated childbirths, other gynecological and midwifery supplies, such as intrauterine contraceptive devices (IUCDs) and vaginal speculums, scalpels, used for making incisions and separating tissues, scissors, used for a wide variety of procedures including finishing stitches, needle holders, often used in wound closures, ligations and procedures requiring re-anastomosis, ear, nose and throat (ENT) instruments, such as nasal probes, aural irrigators, and tongue depressors, podiatry equipment, used to treat conditions affecting the feet, and skin retractors, used by surgeons to hold the skin in place when making an incision. These are usually available for suppliers to purchase wholesale from online sources such as medical-supermarket.com, and can also be easily disposed of after use.
These are drugs that treat or prevent many forms of bacterial infection. Think of them as essentially akin to a medically safe form of weed killer, leaving the rest of the body unharmed. These are often prescribed where there is a high risk of infection, such as a surgery or where bacteria threatens the immune system. Like any drug, however, they are rarely devoid of side effects, and so doses are generally highly controlled.
Good Old-Fashioned Cleaners
When it comes to the overall hygiene of a hospital or healthcare clinic, however, arguably the most important job is that of the cleaning staff, without whom infections and cross-contamination would be untenable.