Making Progress toward HAI Prevention
Healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) are a serious, yet often preventable danger to patient safety. According to the CDC, approximately one in 25 hospital patients has at least one HAI on any day. Additionally, a recent HAI Prevalence Survey revealed an estimated 722,000 HAIs in acute care hospitals across the United States. The continuing growth of portable and bedside imaging increases the risk of cross-contamination. While studies have shown a decrease in some types of HAIs over the last few years, there is still significant progress to be made. When healthcare facilities are cognizant of infection-related obstacles and take proper infection prevention steps, specific types of HAIs can decrease by more than 70 percent. One important method to ensure patient safety and aid in reducing the risk of cross-contamination is to implement the routine usage of an x-ray detector cover.
Cassette Covers Help Prevent Health-Associated Infections
OSHA requires healthcare providers to eliminate dangerous viral and bacterial contact by adhering to the Universal Precautions Standard, which is an approach to infection control. According to the concept of Universal Precautions, “all human blood and certain human body fluids are treated as if known to be infectious for HIV, HBV, and other bloodborne pathogens1.” One simple yet highly effective way to reduce HAIs is to protect portable x-ray equipment with specifically designed covers. Some widely used covering methods like trash bags and pillow cases, may actually increase the likelihood of fluid penetration. Although there are no specific requirements as of yet for x-ray detector covers, implementing the use of a cover that has passed viral penetration testing can significantly support a hospital’s efforts for reducing the risk of cross-contamination, as they provide a protective barrier between the patient and detector; thus eliminating the chance of fluids coming in contact with a cassette or detector. In a recent TechValidate Survey of hospital infection control professionals, 82% agreed that using disposable covers for their imaging equipment would help prevent the spread of infection.
How X-Ray Covers Are Tested for Viral Penetration
To ensure patient safety and infection prevention, there are standardized tests that evaluate whether a cover is offering the ultimate protection against viruses. One standard test method is ASTM F1671 , which measures the resistance of protective materials intended to protect against bloodborne pathogen hazards. This test, often referred to as the viral penetration test, is a pass or fail test designed to confirm whether a material can be penetrated by viruses, transmitted via blood and bodily fluids.
Safe-D-Covers™ X-Ray Cassette Covers Pass the Viral Penetration Test
In early 2018, testing conducted by an independent laboratory for viral penetration concluded that Safe-D-Covers™ X-ray Cassette Covers by PDC Healthcare passed all method acceptance criteria, deeming them an effective barrier against bloodborne pathogens.
Check out PDC Healthcare’s full offering of x-ray detector covers.