Clean, protect, decontaminate

A large number of companies based in Vienna have specialized in products that offer protection against contamination and – not only in hospitals – ensure hygiene and safety.

Enhanced hygiene standards were one of the great achievements of modern medicine.

More recent discoveries in microbiology, but also the appearance of multi-resistant germs, make a careful hygienic handling necessary today – especially in hospitals.

A simple but effective procedure to reduce the germ contamination in health care is the correct disinfection of hands.

Most effective procedure – hand disinfection

The Department of Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology of the MedUni Vienna takes this into consideration with the initiative “clean hands save lives” and provides instructions for hygienic hand disinfection that does not take longer than 30 seconds. For sensitive activities, such as surgical interventions, wearing disposable gloves is essential. However, allergic reactions have repeatedly occurred. More precisely, these are either type I allergies, triggered by proteins contained in natural latex, or contact allergies. These type IV allergies are caused by vulcanization accelerators that are used in the production of synthetic rubber. Sempermed, a subsidiary company of the Vienna-based Semperit AG Holding, offers already a large part of its extensive portfolio of surgical, examination and disposable protective gloves latex-free, i.e. on the basis of synthetic rubber.

The problem of contact allergies

The problem of contact allergies was more difficult to solve. That’s because vulcanization, in which rubber molecules are cross-linked by sulfur bridges, is an important step in obtaining the desired material properties. Together with the PCCL competence center in Leoben, a technology was developed at Sempermed’s Austrian development and production site: the technology links polyisoprene by using UV light instead of adding the potentially allergenic compounds. For this development, the company was recently awarded with the Innovation Award by the European Association of Research and Technology Organization (EARTO).

The solution against multi-resistant germs

Decontamination of surfaces and rooms plays an important role in combating multi-resistant germs in hospitals as well. With the DCX-process an unique technology has been developed, which achieves a high degree of efficiency with very small droplets of a hydrogen peroxide solution. “In the past few years, we have developed the ultrasound transducers for spraying the H2O2 solution further, so that disinfection can be carried out in a much shorter time,” reports Davul Ljuhar, CEO of Braincon Technologies. Depending on the environmental conditions, the number of germs can be reduced by up to six decimal powers. Many devices with DCX-technology have already been sold internationally, but the home marketcould develop even better: “In Austria, much more awareness about the problem of hospital germs needs to be created.”

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