Welcome to Professional and Technical Services (PTS) – experts in chemical disinfection for infection prevention. Our goal is to educate and provide you the latest resources related to cleaning and disinfection of environmental surfaces, medical devices and hands. As specialists in disinfectant chemistries, microbiology, environmental cleaning and disinfection, facility assessments and policy and procedure creation we are dedicated to helping any person or facility who uses chemical disinfectants.

Our expertise is utilized by Infection Preventionists, Public Health Experts, First Responders, Dentists, Physicians, Nurses, Veterinarians, Aestheticians, Environmental Services professionals and janitorial product distributors to develop more sustainable cleaning and disinfection practices in North America.

Our commitment to providing chemical disinfectant education is more than business, it is a passion.

Friday, January 29, 2016

#FF New Year, New (Smarter) You

We are almost one month into the New Year and I'm betting for some, those New Year's resolutions have already been broken or forgotten.  For Talk Clean To Me, my resolution is to continue to bring new content on cleaning and disinfection and the use of chemicals to markets outside of Healthcare, but also to continue to support worthy companies and people who are just as dedicated to the field of infection prevention education.

As noted in past blogs, the Teleclass Education by Webber Training is an international lecture series on topics related to infection prevention and control. The objective is to bring the best possible education to the widest possible audience with the fewest possible barriers when trying to access it.  Here's the list of teleclasses for the first quarter of 2016.


Date
Title of Teleclass
Speaker
January 20th
Ebola Outbreak in West Africa: Lessons Learned for Infection Prevention and Control
Prof. Benedetta Allegranzi, Dr. Anthony Twyman and Dr. Joyce Hightower, WHO
January 16th
Epidemiology, Prevention and Control of Gram Negative Antibiotic Resistant Rods
Prof. Elaine Larson, USA
January 28th
MRSA in the Hospital and the Community
Dr. Geoffrey Taylor, Canada
February 17th
Successful Implementation Strategy for the Prevention of Surgical Site Infections
Prof. Sean Berenholtz, USA
February 24th
Patient Empowerment as Part of an Asian Hand Hygiene Programme
Prof. Yee Chun Chen, Taiwan
March 3rd
MERS-COV: Implications for Healthcare Facilities
Prof. Sotirios Tsiodras, Greece
March 10th
Barriers to TB Infection Control in Developing Countries
Dr. Eltony Mugomeri, Lesotho
March 31st
Successful Implementation of Catheter-Associated Urinary Tract Infection Bundles: Lessons Learned
Prof. Sarah L. Krein, USA




For more information on Webber Training, including a full list of the upcoming Infection Prevention and Control Teleclasses, please visit www.webbertraining.com

I hope many of you will take the opportunity to listen to these teleclasses and share them with your colleagues! 

Bugging Off!

Nicole



Friday, January 22, 2016

Like Humans, Rabbits get Syphilis

For the last four days I’ve been at the NAVC (North American Veterinary Community) conference in Orlando.  Many of you are likely thinking “oh that lucky girl!” but the truth is, aside from dinners at night and taking a bus back and forth between venues I didn’t get outside much to enjoy the Florida weather.  I also didn’t get to enjoy the Florida weather because it’s January, which is an unpredictable time of year and while there was no snow and the temperatures were above freezing, it wasn't really that warm....

What I like most about attending conferences it getting the opportunity to learn something new and with over 1200 sessions to chose from, learning something new was not that difficult!  There was one session I wanted to attend but did not get the chance.  It was titled “Zoobiquity: Bringing Human Science to Animal Science”.  The session promised to enlighten us on how a cardiologist whose experience in helping to treat a monkey led to a journey of discovering what animals can teach us about the human body and mind and how species-spanning commonalities do exist! This journey ultimately inspired the New York Times bestselling book, Zoobiquity: The Astonishing Connection Between Human and Animal Health.

As I’ve come to learn, Zoobiquity is based on a common idea that humans and animals get the same diseases and explores how animal and human commonality can be used to diagnose, treat, and heal patients of all species.  Of course, to do so we need to collaborate.  We need to tap into and access the vast information and experience of veterinarians and wildlife biologists.
Certainly the concept of One Health is not new and I’ve spoken about it in previous blogs.  I think most would agree that there is a strong connection between people, animals and the planet.  However, our focus on One Health is driven more by contemplating infectious diseases and zoonoses. Because Zoobiquity utilizes comparative medicine, it broadens the emphasis to include many other areas of human and animal medicine and looks for linkages with clinical implications for patients both human and animal.

The book itself was inspired by an eye-opening consultation at the Los Angeles Zoo, which revealed that a monkey experienced the same symptoms of heart failure as human patients.  This resulted in cardiologist Barbara Natterson-Horowitz embarking upon a project that would reshape how she practiced medicine. She began informally researching every affliction that she encountered in humans to learn whether it also happened with animals and found that it usually did.  She found that dinosaurs suffered from brain cancer, koalas can catch chlamydia, reindeer seek narcotic escape in hallucinogenic mushrooms, stallions self-mutilate, and gorillas experience clinical depression.

Having missed the talk, I have read the first Chapter of the book and without a doubt will be running out to buy it!  I also look forward to my next conference – you’re never too old to learn something new and exciting, you just have to open your mind to the possibilities!

Bugging Off!

Nicole


Friday, January 15, 2016

Bouncy House Birthday Party Health Hazards

I thought this topic was particularly timely seeing as I have been running around all week planning my son’s 7th birthday.   Last year I got off scot-free as we were on vacation at Disney World for his birthday.  It’s amazing how a year off in planning a party makes you forget how much work it is!  Work because being a bit of an overachiever I like to go a bit overboard.  This year’s theme is Minecraft.  If you’re not in the know, Minecraft is a creative game that allows players to use various coloured cubes to build things and you apparently mine for gems etc...  I found out the hard way that decorating stores (at least in my neck of the woods) do not have pre-made decorations.  Being an overachiever, I have been forced to buy square plates in different colours to make my own decorations.  If they turn out, follow me on Twitter (@nicolecronkenny) and I’ll post some pictures of what I ended up making!

It was because I am planning a birthday party that made the news article I found about an investigation into the health hazards of bouncy houses/castles – the ones you rent to provide hours of entertainment- so interesting.  Before getting into the details I must acknowledge that the source for this article is Fox News.  So while interesting and potentially truthful, I would caution against panicking and never letting your children enjoy a bouncy house/castle again.  Heck, I’ve been known to have some fun in them!

According to the investigation by Fox News, bouncy castles can pose a risk to your children’s health because of the potential to transmit Staphylococcus and cause skin infections.  Staphylococcus aureus (commonly known as Staph) is a common bacterium often found on our skin or in our noses.  While it is often harmless and does not cause infection, skin that has become abraded (e.g. skin rubbing against the bouncy house causing a “rug burn” type rash) could have the potential to come in contact with Staph and lead to an infection. 

The biggest concern of course is if Staph happens to be MRSA and as we know from several outbreaks associated with artificial grass and wrestling mats, Staph has the ability to transmit directly from person to person or indirectly from fomites (inanimate object) like a bouncy castle. Skin infections with Staph can become quite serious, particularly in people with underlying diseases or weakened immune systems and can lead to infections of the blood, lungs, bones or even heart valves.

So what can parents do to keep children safe when playing on bouncy castles?  In general, hand hygiene will help stop the spread. Children should wash their hands before and after playing on bouncy castles.  We should also ensure that uncovered skin is kept clean.  If they happen to have minor skin cuts or abrasions ensure these are covered with a Band-Aid prior to playing and if cuts or abrasions occur during the course of the fun be sure to clean them thoroughly.

If you happen to rent a bouncy castle (or buy one) for use at home, to minimize any concerns with transmission of infectious diseases you can clean and disinfect prior to allowing your child to play on it using a registered disinfectant that has been proven to be effective against Staphylococcus aureus and/or MRSA.   Be sure to remove any visible debris first by sweeping or vacuuming and then wipe down all the surfaces with the disinfectant ensuring that the contact listed on the label is met.  Keep in mind that depending on the product you are using you may have to wipe the surfaces more than once in order to achieve the contact time and ensure you are killing what you want to kill!

Bugging off!


Nicole

Friday, January 8, 2016

Welcome 2016!

Happy New Year to everyone!  It’s amazing how a few days off can energize you.  During the Holiday break I took some time to purge.  I spent a day going through papers, magazines and journals that had accumulated in my office  over the past year and vowed that this time coming back from  business trips I’ll do a better job at filing.  I spent time around the house purging (well eating....) the junk food we were given during the holidays and started Monday morning off on the right foot with no caffeine, no sugar and no junk food.  I had a headache by Monday afternoon, but I’d like to think I haven’t been too grumpy at work!

Along with the promise to do a better job at filing and eating less junk food, this year I promise to continue to educate on any topic relevant to cleaning and disinfection and hope to entertain you along the way.  One of the new initiatives our team is developing includes a monthly education campaign that will hit on all sorts of topics relevant to virtually every market where cleaning and disinfectant chemistries are used.  Each month a Talk Clean To Me blog will be dedicated to the topic of the month.  If you would like to be part of our distribution list for our monthly campaigns please sign up on our V.O.I.C.E. subscription page.  If you’d prefer not to be part of that distribution list I’ll be sure to include a link to our education campaign on the Talk Clean To Me blog associated with each education campaign.  To peak your interest, the following are a few of our campaign titles!

  •          Love Sick (bugs that bite during romance season)
  •          Insanity (think Albert Einstein’s definition)
  •          Hot Mess (summer infection woes)
  •          Break the Mold (disaster and renovation realities)
  •          Bah-hum-bug Germs Travel (how to stay healthy for the holidays)


Wishing everyone a wonderful January, a lovely February, a peaceful March, a stress-free April, a fun-filled May, joy that lasts from June to November, and finally a happy December...I just hope this year doesn't fly by as fast as 2015!  

Bugging Off!


Nicole