<p>Infection prevention</p>

Infection prevention

How to fight infections

More than 1.4 million people at any given time suffer from healthcare associated infections, HCAIs1, and the financial impact and unnecessary patient suffering is severe. As many as 1 in 11 patients become infected worldwide2 and it can be a potentially life-threatening condition. In Europe the cost of HAI average to seven billion EUR annually3.

How to prevent SSIs and HAIs? To be successful in infection prevention as well as protecting against SSIs and HAIs safety procedures and routines need to be put into place. A study on the efficacy of nosocomial chemotherapy (SENIC) found that intensive infection control and surveillance routines resulted in a 32 percent reduction of infection rates over a five-year period4. The key is implementing routines on many levels and using the right equipment.

Importance of skin preparation

Knowing the rates of SSIs

Leadership within organisations

Choosing the right equipment

Importance of skin preparation

Skin preparation is of the utmost importance in the prevention of SSIs. The recommendation is to use a two-percent chlorhexidine gluconate and 70-percent isopropyl alcohol solution to decolonise the skin prior to surgery. This is based on a substantial body of evidence suggesting that this is the optimal agent for pre-surgical skin antisepsis5. Evidence suggests that it is the patient’s own skin that is the source of most of the pathogens involved in SSIs6. Therefore, to have a greater focus on skin antisepsis may lead to a large impact on infection rates.

Knowing the rates of SSIs

Studies have demonstrated that the incidence of SSIs varies widely between hospitals and between surgical procedures7. Surgical teams that know their SSI rates can often be reduced by implementing a range of basic, relatively inexpensive infection-prevention measures8.

Leadership within organisations

To be successful in ‘championing SSI reduction’, the leadership role cannot be emphasised enough. The importance of HCAI reduction in general has to be driven through all levels of the organisation by key players who will take the lead in fighting infection. Leaders and proper leadership are vital in the adoption of best practice and a culture where HCAI avoidance is priority for all staff8.

Using the right equipment for optimal protection

At Mölnlycke Health Care we take great pride in creating the safest possible surgical single-use equipment for the security of both patients and clinicians. Infection prevention is at the core of everything we do and we are continuously developing new products and solutions to provide even better staff and patient protection. Choosing the right products is an essential component in sustaining and developing successful infection control.

Biogel – surgical gloves

Biogel® has a superior puncture indication system for enhanced safety. Up to 97 percent of glove punctures are detected with the Biogel puncture indication system. This is a security feature that helps to minimise the risk for both patient and healthcare professionals from blood-borne pathogens, including HIV and hepatitis viruses. Overall, Biogel surgical gloves have the best Acceptable Quality Level (AQL) for freedom from holes on the market8.

Double gloving has been found to reduce surgical cross infection between staff and patients8. Double gloving is recommended by US AORN (Association of Perioperative Registered Nurses) and the RCS (Royal College of Surgeons of England). Studies have shown that the detection of perforation during surgery was a worryingly low 37 percent with single gloves compared to 87 percent with a Biogel puncture indication system. Adding a second pair of surgical gloves significantly reduces perforations to the innermost glove, 34.7 percent for single gloves and only 3.8 percent for double gloves9,10.

BARRIER – surgical staff clothing

BARRIER® surgical staff clothing includes a selection of protection and comfort combinations, adapted to the varying demands of different procedures. BARRIER surgical gowns are procedure-specific products folded for easy aseptic donning. Surgical gowns not only prevent infection of the surgical wound, they also protect the operating team from liquid contamination. BARRIER surgical gowns offer different levels of protection, covering the needs of less invasive operations with fluid-repellent material through to wet surgery with breathable plastic reinforced fronts, impermeable sleeves and impermeable seams. The toughest conditions can be met with a surgical gown that is impermeable all over. BARRIER surgical gowns also have very high comfort levels thanks to breathable and soft material.

Wearing apparel is developed to ensure both patient safety and comfort for healthcare professionals. The range of single-use scrub suits and warm-up jackets provides the comfort and quality of wearing fresh clothes every day. Single-use scrub suits contribute to hospital infection control6. The clean air suits provide an effective infection barrier and reduce the flow of skin scales carrying bacteria from staff to the environment5, 7. View the full range of staff clothing, which also includes headwear and masks.

BARRIER – surgical drapes

All BARRIER® drapes are designed to ensure the best possible patient safety by providing an optimal barrier against microbial migration. Effective infection control is achieved through impermeable materials where needed, while effective fluid control is obtained through absorption or fluid collection pouches – allowing for a drier working area. All foldings are designed for optimal aseptic handling and easy application, which also contributes to infection control. The BARRIER products also come complete with the best available service and support including both training for optimal usage and tailored supply and logistic solutions all according to your need. View the full range of surgical drapes.


  1. Prevention of hospital-acquired infections; A practical guide 2nd edition; World Health Organization; 2012 (http://www.who.int/emc)
  2. National Audit Office. Improving Patient Care By Reducing The Risk of Hospital Acquired Infection: A Progress Report 14 July 2004. 
  3. European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. Annual epidemiological report on the communicable diseases in Europe 2008. Chapter 2: Healthcare-associated infections.
  4. Hayley RW, Culver DH, White JW, Morgan WM, Emori TG, Munn VP et al. 1985. The efficacy of infection surveillance and control programs in preventing nosocomial infections in US hospitals. Am J Epidemio. 121:182-205
  5. Guidelines for the Prevention of Intravascular Catheter-Related Infections, 2011
  6. Brote L. 1976. wound infections in clean an potentially contaminated surgery. Acta Chir Scand. 142: 191-200 
  7. Health Protection Agency. Surveillance of surgical site infection in England. London. July 2006. 
  8. Under the knife;  Taking a zero tolerance approach to preventable surgical site infections  in UK hospitals; 2011 (http://med-nexus.co.uk/published/med nexus/media/undertheknifereportfinaljune2011.pdf)
  9. Mölnlycke Health Care Report REPR0833
  10. Judith Tanner et al. A fresh look at perioperative body washing. Journal of Infection Prevention. 2012
  11. Hayek et al, J Hosp Infec. 1986;10:165-172 
  12. Mölnlycke Health Care Report REPR0781
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