Antibiotics Resistance Is Serious
Healthcare-associated infections (HAI)
are a major threat
CDC estimates that 3 million people are infected with antibiotic-resistant bacteria in the United States each year. Despite the emergence of innovative health-related technologies, advances in treatments of infectious diseases, and widespread adoption of antibiotics and disinfectants in healthcare facilities, a considerable portion of antibiotic-resistant infections, 1.7 million, are linked to Healthcare-Associated Infections (HAI). Recent reports have estimated that 3% of patients develop a healthcare-associated infection (HAI), and 270 patients lose their life on any given day due to HAI in the United States.
What are HAIs, and where do they come from?
Nosocomial infections, or HAIs, are infectious diseases that are contracted within a healthcare environment during the patients’ stay. They may have several sources, including viruses, bacteria, and fungal pathogens. In the majority of cases, these infections are transmitted through equipment, staff-patient exposure, and medical interventions. Misuse and overuse of antibiotics and poor hygiene measures are the main contributing sources behind the worrying rate of HAI increase in recent years.
Patient Safety & Social Impact
HAIs account for 100,000 annual deaths across the US. However, this is just a part of the sad story behind HAI. There are massive direct economic and indirect societal costs associated with these infections.
The direct financial burden of HAIs on the health care system is $28.4 billion each year, which includes the cost of additional labor, treatment courses, and supplies. HAI-acquired individuals have to stay an extra 6.5 days in the hospital. Additionally, these patients are 5X more likely to be readmitted, 60% more likely to require admission to an ICU, and 2X more likely to lose their life.
And last but not least, the estimated annual societal costs from HAI, which includes deaths and lost productivity, is $12.4 billion. These costs include lost wages, extra family costs, deaths, and diminished quality of life.
Considering that in most cases, HAIs are preventable, the HAI economic and societal costs are unacceptable, which suggests a need for a new approach towards infection control in the healthcare system.
The emergence of chemical-resistant bacteria will make traditional chemical disinfectants less effective in removing pathogens from the environment
Due to the nature of HAI (antibiotic resistance), the CDC advises healthcare facilities to use chemical disinfectants. While chemical treatment and disinfection are effective in controlling transmissible diseases, On the one hand, their excessive use may put the patient and staff’s health at risk. On the other hand, researchers have recovered bacteria from the hospital environment that are resistant to both antibiotics and disinfectants.
With the emergence of antibiotic and chemical resistant pathogens, disinfection based on Germicidal ultraviolet-C light (UVGI) has gained considerable attention as an effective strategy in eliminating pathogens. UVGI spectrum of UV light damages the DNA or RNA of pathogens and inactivates the microorganism, which makes them harmless by stopping their replication.
Several studies have suggested that incorporating UVGI in disinfection protocols in hospital rooms after patient release or before a new patient admission can reduce various HAI infections between 30-53%
These results can dramatically improve if a UVGI disinfection system can actively and continuously eliminate the pathogens in real-time during the hospitalization period. The effectiveness of such systems would be more apparent in dealing with patients with new and emerging variants of Covid or other airborne diseases, and also with patients with highly infectious diseases, where the risk of infection continuously threatens the safety of the staff and the patients.
Intelligent Infection Control & Preventing Loss
The emergence of Covid-19 and its variants has challenged many health institutions and facilities across the globe to reconsider their current approach to the management and prevention of infection and move toward implementing sustainable HAI management and prevention programs.
The most recent CDC-recommended strategy to fight antibiotic resistance suggests 1) Implementing pathogen mitigation and control instead of developing new antibiotics, 2) tracking and sharing data, 3) implementing antimicrobial stewardship programs, 4) investing in vaccines/therapeutics, and 5) improving environmental hygiene.
On the one hand, developing new vaccines and therapeutic procedures is time-consuming. And on the other hand, improving environmental hygiene and establishing antimicrobial stewardship programs need extensive training, time, and practice. This suggests a dire need for an automated and efficient infection control platform to 1) monitor the infection spread across the facility. 2) Manage and share infection data, and 3) actively, safely, and continuously disinfect the environment in real-time.
The Shyld platform harnesses the power of artificial intelligence to bring the next generation of infection prevention and control to any healthcare facility to keep staff and patients safe and achieve zero preventable death due to emerging pathogens and HAI.