CARPETS SHOULD NOT CAUSE ANY CONCERN
Viral and bacterial infections have always been present within a care environment, but should never lead to the pulling out or replacement of carpets. Carpets provide many therapeutic benefits for residents and staff and when combined with an antimicrobial coating they provide the first line of defence against the spread of infection.
Here are 6 important points to consider...
1. HOW CONTAMINATION OCCURS
Viral and bacterial infections are mainly passed on by coming into close personal contact with
someone who is infected or with a contaminated surface. Research suggests that the most
common touchpoints for the spread of infection include – door handles, tables, bed linen and gowns as well as patient or resident notes.
Professor Dr Markus Dettenkoffer, who in 2013 was the acting Director of the Institute of Environmental Medicine and Hospital Hygiene, states that “Floors and walls are not critical surfaces – these types of surfaces are hardly ever the source of nosocomial infections – whereas objects and surfaces with frequent hand contact are.
2. BACTERIA DOESN'T SURVIVE WELL ON CARPET
Bacteria survive less well or for shorter periods on carpet than on other floor coverings - A rigorous study conducted by Lankford et al (2006) suggests that certain pathogens such as VRE (Vancomycin-resistant enterococci) survive less well or for shorter periods on carpet than on other floor coverings, Including rubber tile, linoleum, vinyl sheet goods, and vinyl composition tile.
In addition to discovering that carpet harbours less VRE, this research found that carpeting also transferred less VRE to hands via contact than rubber and vinyl flooring and performed as well in cleaning as any other flooring tested.
Any type of floor can become an infection control concern if it is not cleaned properly. However, carpet is proven to be less expensive and less time consuming to clean properly than other hard
flooring options. One of these studies included a life cycle cost analysis for floor coverings in school facilities by the Institute, Cleaning and Restoration Certification. It found that Carpet could be 65% less expensive to maintain than hard surface flooring. Additional research studies also suggest that carpets come over very favourably when it comes to the costs, time and difficulties of cleaning various floor finishes. On an annual basis, research suggests that it takes two-and-a-half times longer to clean hard floors than carpet and the cleaning chemicals needed for hard floors are seven times more expensive.
4. ANTIMICROBIAL COATINGS
Many of Danfloor’s carpets include an antimicrobial, coating which starts to work as soon as
contamination occurs, achieving a 4 log reduction of 99.99% within 30 minutes - no other hard flooring option can achieve this log reduction as fast.
5. PRODUCT FEATURES
Danfloor’s carpets include an impervious membrane and are made from soil and stain resistant yarns making the cleaning and infection control process easier. Plus, many of the ranges are solution dyed which means you can use harsh cleaning chemicals, including bleach, on the carpets without the loss of colour.
6. BENEFITS OF CARPETS
Let’s not forget the benefits carpet can bring to a care environment, where many are living with
cognitive impairments such as dementia. Carpets provide the following:
- Fantastic sound absorption qualities – which helps to reduce stress and confusion
- Increased indoor air quality – which is essential for those living with respiratory health problems
- Increased confidence in mobility – Gait speed and step length has been proven to increase in
older people when walking on carpeted areas than when walking on vinyl
- Reduction in injuries and fractures as a result of falling – should accidents occur carpet provides a cushioned impact.
- Increased warmth and comfort – Carpet provides that all-important home from home feeling and less of an institutional look and feel to a residential care setting.
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