The recent pandemic of Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) - a respiratory infection caused by SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19 virus) - has changed the landscape regarding standard approaches to healthcare infection control.
This virus, which is transmitted mainly through close physical contact and respiratory droplets, has also been reported to have airborne transmission during aerosol generating medical procedures. Despite the still limited evidence regarding effective infection transmission through surface contamination, the infection prevention and control principles (namely cleaning and disinfection practices) designed to mitigate the spread of pathogens and to limit the role of fomite transmission in healthcare settings, are currently recommended by the World Health Organization. (World Health Organization, 2020)
Compared to bacteria and fungi, viruses present a different challenge as they do not proliferate by themselves on inert surfaces. Instead, viruses rest on surfaces waiting for a new host to inadvertently touch that surface and carry them to contact with any mucosa, where they will infect the host and use the host’s cells to replicate and to thrive.
SARS-Cov-2 is, like other coronaviruses, an enveloped virus with a fragile outer lipid envelope that makes it more susceptible to disinfectants when compared to non-enveloped viruses. (Rutala, 2019) For this reason, besides the regular antimicrobial protection, the best way to defend against the new COVID-19 threat, is to regularly clean all the exposed surfaces with disinfectant products.
Antibacterial & Antiviral Cleaning
Clean & Control COVID-19
The selection of disinfectants should take into account the targeted microorganisms, as well as the recommended concentration and contact times, according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Hypochlorite based products, which include liquid or solid formulations are amongst the most frequently used solutions in hospital settings. Spraying or fogging solutions are not recommended. (World Health Organization, 2020).
A list of disinfectants for use against the COVID-19 virus is currently being actively updated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). (Environmental Protection Agency, s.d.)
The surfaces of any hospital acoustical treatment equipment need therefore to both have antimicrobial properties and endure thorough and regular cleaning.
The surfaces of acoustical equipment need to be perforated, allowing for sound waves to penetrate the panel for optimal sound absorption.
This poses the question of the potential contamination of the inner surface inside the perforations.
In what regards the possibility of infection transmission, surface resting pathogens – either viruses or other microorganisms - can only be carried by direct contact with a new host.
As the outer surface is both antimicrobial (not allowing for microorganism growth) and also regularly disinfected, the perforation holes do not contribute to infection transmission as the inner perforation surfaces cannot be touched.
Antimicrobial & Cleanable Cleanable Laminate
While in public and open access areas noise level can be managed with standard products as in any other public building in restricted inpatient areas, the need for acoustical treatment incorporating cleanable or antimicrobial surfaces becomes increasingly more significant, as the level of care grows for each type of space.
The problem of Hospital-Acquired Infections has also led to the creation of infection control teams dedicated to address any aspect of hospital life which may result in increased risk of infection transmission or in further growth of drug resistances.
Amongst many other tasks, these teams are called to analyze and approve all aspects of infection control related to any new equipment that may need to be installed for acoustic treatment.
In conclusion, there is therefore an obvious demand for acoustic treatment for well-being healthcare facilities. In this context, acoustic equipment needs to deliver both effective noise control and infection control properties, by presenting antimicrobial properties and enduring thorough and regular cleaning.
Artnovion is proud to release the range of MEDLINE-Cleanable products, specifically designed to face this challenge.
Artnovion’s MEDLINE-Cleanable products are made from antimicrobial materials that provide protection against all other agents and can also be cleaned with COVID-19 killing disinfectants.
Our faux leather finishes have an incorporated antimicrobial treatment, formed by embedded metal ions, that convey the ability to break down bacterial cell walls, creating an antibacterial, antifungal and anti-odour surface. These surface treatments also endure thorough and regular cleaning with COVID-19 disinfectants, which are the best way to prevent viral transmission. The leather is perforated, allowing for sound waves to penetrate the panel for optimal sound absorption.
Cleanable Laminated finishes
Our Laminated Wood finishes endure thorough and regular cleaning with COVID-19 disinfectants, which are the best way to prevent viral transmission, while also providing protection against all other agents.
The surfaces of acoustical equipment need to be perforated, allowing for sound waves to penetrate the panel for optimal sound absorption. Surface resting pathogens are eliminated by the outer surface's antimicrobial treatment and by regular disinfection. The inner perforation surfaces are inaccessible and cannot be touched, meaning that the acoustic perforations do not contribute in any way to the transmission of pathogenic agents.
Twill Acoustic fabric - COVID Safe
Twill acoustic fabric used in the products listed, endures regular cleaning and disinfection with highly effective antibacterial and antiviral agent:s like alcohol or bleach solutions, or sterilizing sprays and wipes.
Products that use Twill acoustic fabric: Troy Absorber, Azores AE Absorber and Sparta AE Absorber.
Twill Acoustic fabric COVID-19 Safe