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Washability helps hospitals fight infections

Washability

Washability helps hospitals fight infections

Stringent hygiene in hospitals matters. At LINAK, this has been a central focus point for more than 30 years, and today many of our actuator solutions are fully washable. This enables hospital staff to clean their beds in modern automatic washing systems, using hot water and strong detergents. 

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), hundreds of millions of patients are affected every year by infections acquired while hospitalised. In developed countries, it is estimated that seven out of every 100 patients acquire an infection. In developing countries, it is at least ten. 

Imagine the human and economic benefits of bringing these numbers down. 

At LINAK, we also take hygiene extremely seriously. The standard IEC60601 requires healthcare applications specified as washable, “to be machine washable by an automatic washing system shall function normally after the test”. However, to LINAK, this is far from good enough. We want our products to perform impeccably – also after years of frequent cleaning in modern washing systems. That is why we test our products significantly more than the 2017 standards prescribe.

Rigorous testing of equipment should be mandatory
From the beginning, LINAK has cared for the well-being and safety of the end-users – patients as well as healthcare staff. To truly do so, we have kept a stringent customer focus and maintained an absolute request for quality and high performance. This includes helping customers prepare for the future – a future with higher standards and even more focus on hygiene. 

To seek excellence and perfection, we have established an entire R&D test center, where our products are tested to the breaking point in several ways. And, regarding washable solutions, LINAK drives the ongoing development towards higher international standards. In fact, during 2017, we increased the number of wash test cycles significantly to increase the lifetime of adjustable healthcare applications.

We study the results of our continual testing carefully, we examine materials, develop stronger components, and the LINAK engineers always seek to optimise the function and design for extensive repetitive washing with strong detergents.

Demand applications that meet international standards
LINAK products for healthcare applications exceeds several required standards and certifications. Regarding washability, we call the latest stringent requirement set by the LINAK test centre; LINAK IPX6 Washable DURA™. From now on, our product range for washable healthcare equipment, will meet the requirements for this strong label. 

We believe washable healthcare applications will help minimise the number of patients acquiring infections at the hospital. That is why we continuously push this agenda! 

Washability

History of healthcare hygiene
In the mid-1800s, a couple of surprising studies changed fundamental healthcare procedures forever. In 1843, the American physician dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes published an article stating, “puerperal fever, a deadly infection contracted by women during or shortly after childbirth, stems from patient to patient contact via their physicians”. The last part was a disruptive game changer!

Holmes also contended that improved hygiene in hospitals in general would reduce this spread of disease significantly. This assertion met widespread opposition among fellow physicians at the time. However, a few years later a Hungarian physician, dr. Ignaz Semmelweis, published a study indisputably proving that the use of antiseptic hand disinfection among doctors and midwives reduced the number of deaths among parturient women dramatically. 

The critics fell silent and hygiene has been a core part of medical practice ever since.