How does Antimicrobial Resistance affect us?

 

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Antimicrobial Resistance is the ability of bacteria and viruses to develop a resistance to the things we use to treat them. These pathogens are living organisms, and it's natural for them to mutate to their surroundings in order to survive. 

These mutations enable the pathogen to resist antibiotics and cleaning prodcuts that would have previously eradicated them. This issue has wider implications for both the cleaning and the healthcare sector. Although antibiotics are continually updated and reworked to tackle the new mutations the pathogens present, it is still and ongoing challenge for our healthcare professionals to combat.  We are regularly facing patients who have contagious pathogens with no known cure, such as COVID 19 which we as a global presence recently and are continuing to face.  

Although antimicrobial resistance will occur naturally over time, just as all other organisms mutate or evolve, our actions in terms of running to the GP every time you get a little unwell to get antibiotics are compounding the problem. 

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Antimicrobial resistance usually occurs once a pathogen is inside the body, so when you contract an illness, antibiotics may be less effective at treating it; along with adopting better antibiotic habits. 

One of the ways to combat antimicrobial resistance is by reducing the ability of the superbugs to spread from one person to the next, through improved cleaning and hygiene protocols.  

By implementing good and robust cleaning procedures, it is possible to limit the spread of bugs that antibiotics can no longer kill.  This is not just applicable in hospitals or on farms, but in shops and offices, homes and public transport.

Every infection that it prevented through thorough cleaning reduces the need for antibiotics which lessens the potential for the development of resistance.  

What can I do to help?

In terms of helping with antimicrobial resistance, we as a population can keep everything, surfaces, touch points; ourselves clean and sanitary.  You can do this by using robust cleaning materials, that actually kill bacteria and viruses, in a workable time (30 seconds) and one that is accreddited. This is really for professional environments, I'm not talking about the home; I'll come to that later. 

We would suggest a broad spectrum sanitiser such as this advanced surface disinfectant; accredited (actually proven to kill!) both bacteria and viruses, and has a big long list of accreditations on the back of what it kills. We also mentioned Bleach Tablets which are great in both healthcare, and professional settings.  We would also advocate the use of Cidox

Cidox solutions are less corrosive than equivalent chlorine or peroxide disinfectants, whilst providing sporicidal, fungicidal, bactericidal and viricidal effectiveness when tested against the most challenging European Standards.

In domestic situations, you can ofcourse keep everything clean with a virucidal spray, but you can also make up a bleach solution with water and bleach and dip a clean cloth in to it and wipe your surfaces and touch points down. 

Obviously in professional settings this can't be done as you need to know the strength of the chemical for health and safety and insurance purposes. You cannot know the strength of your chemical if you are making it up yourself.  In a professional setting you would also need to provide material safety data sheets (which you can ofcourse get here at Astral) and if at all possible training for all staff who are going to be using the chemicals. Trainign is best practice and is offered as a matter of course here at Astral. 


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