Tech & trend

Washability helps hospitals fight infections

Stringent hygiene in hospitals matters. At LINAK this has been a central point of focus for more than 30 years, and today many of our actuator solutions are fully washable. This enables hospital staff to clean 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 hospitalized. 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. Products 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 significantly more than the 2017 norm prescribes....

Rigorous testing of equipment should be mandatory
From the outset, LINAK has cared about the well-being and safety of end-users – patients as well as healthcare staff. To truly do so, we have maintained a constant customer focus and a stringent requirement 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 ongoing development towards higher international standards. In fact, during 2017 we increased the number of wash test cycles significantly in order to extend the lifetime of adjustable healthcare applications.

We study the results of our continuous testing carefully. We examine materials, develop stronger components, and LINAK engineers always seek to optimize functionality and design to accommodate extensive repetitive washing with strong detergents.

Demand applications that meet international standards
LINAK products for healthcare applications exceed several mandatory standards and certifications. Regarding washability, we call the latest stringent requirement set by the LINAK test center: 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 minimize the number of patients acquiring infections in the hospital. That is why we continuously push this agenda! 


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 the 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 by doctors and midwives reduced the number of deaths among parturient women dramatically. 
Critics fell silent and hygiene has been a core part of medical practice ever since. 



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