New textile keeps hospital door handles germ-free

New textile keeps hospital door handles germ-free

Scientists have developed a self-disinfecting textile that is said to reduce bacteria levels by more than 90% and they are using it to make antibacterial door pads for hospitals to be used in place of traditional aluminium door plates.

Developed at the University of Leeds in the UK, Surfaceskins antibacterial door pads are made from a blend of three non-woven textiles. They work by dispensing a small quantity of alcohol gel on to the pad while the door is being pushed. This disinfects the surface ready for the next user.

Aid to hand washing, Surfaceskins antibacterial door pads are said to supplement healthcare hand washing and provide an extra line of defence. Each pad lasts for seven days or for 1,000 users.

The product is the result of a collaboration between industrial designers, the Nonwovens innovation and Research Institute plus a Leeds University spin-out company. Door handles that use the Surfaceskins technology are also available. Hospital doors are recognised to be a weak line in hygiene due to the number of times they are touched, according to Surfaceskins’ developers.

They claim the branded door pads will have the added benefit of increasing people’s hand hygiene awareness. Other critical areas Study results published in the Journal of Hospital Infection revealed that over a period of seven days, Surfaceskins door pads were more effective than standard door plates at reducing levels of S.aureus, E-coli and E.faecalis – three bacteria commonly associated with hospital – acquired infections.

Besides hospitals, Surfaceskins area also being targeted at other areas where meticulous hand hygiene is required such as the catering and hospitality sectors.

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