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.

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Tuesday, October 17, 2017

For the love of grandparents

According to Dr. Karl Pillemer of Cornell University, the relationship between grandparents and their grandchildren is second in emotional importance only to the relationship between parent and child. I could not agree more.  I was fortunate to have grown up knowing both of my Great-Grandmothers and both sets of my Grandfathers and Grandmothers.  In fact, in my mid-forties I am still fortunate to have a living Grandmother who is very much with it and at 86 is still driving and only just moving into a retirement home.  Even then she’s only moving because she was able to find a 2 bedroom condo that would meet her needs……  Ask my mother, it was no easy feat!

For many of us, our grandparents hold a very dear spot in our hearts.  You may have fond memories of spending the night at their house, going on vacation with them, eating “special meals or treats” that your grandma always made the best – even if your mom used the same recipe!  In one article I read, the author states that “Grandparents are like shady trees that have an ever welcoming attitude towards life. They are always there to offer their cool shade to the next generation. It seems that they have all the love, affection and warmth in the world stored within them.” I can’t speak for you, but this sums up my relationship with my great-grandmothers and grandparents perfectly and I think my colleagues who provided the stories I’m sharing today will agree.

Today’s blog is dedicated to the memories of the grandfather of our Marketing Assistant Brandon Petrasso and the grandmother of our R&D Laboratory Technician, Shukria Atta.  I hope you caught the fact that I said “memories”.

The story of Brandon’s grandfather goes something like this.  He went in to the hospital for his routine daily dialysis treatment, but after his usual treatment his care team noticed his vitals were reading a little lower than they should be.  To be on the safe side, rather than letting him go home as he normally would, they felt it would be in his best interest to be admitted into the hospital for observation as a precautionary measure.  In trying to determine what was causing his poor health, they realized he contracted Clostridium difficile at the hospital.  Brandon’s grandpa ended up passing away due to complications associated with C.diff

Patients who undergo dialysis treatment have an increased risk for getting an infection because of their weakened immune systems due to the fact that the process of hemodialysis requires frequent use of catheters or insertion of needles to access the bloodstream. However, it should not be a given that every dialysis patient will get a HAI. In fact there is a wealth of supporting documentation to help ensure that infection prevention programs can be put in place to ensure the health and safety of dialysis patients.

The truth is that as we age, our immune systems have to work harder to fight off infections.  There have been a number of studies that look at HAIs and mortality in the elderly population showing that HAIs were more frequent in the elderly population particularly with respect to VAP and infections by Gram-negative pathogens. The overall mortality has also been shown to be greater in the elderly group.

This is the likely case of Shukria’s grandmother. She was admitted to the hospital for something that was not serious and while there, caught something from the hospital.  Because of the fact that she was already too weak and frail, Shukria’s grandmother could not fight the infection and passed away.  She was in Dushanbe, Tajikistan so Shukria was not able to say good bye and even a year later really misses her grandma.   

When Shukria shared her story with me she said “I hope we can save lives by educating the hospitals and clinics.”  This really sums up the spirit of the Talk Clean To Me blog and the reason for asking my colleagues and coworkers to share their stories.  I’m not an expert by any means in every facet of infection prevention, but I certainly know how to clean and how to use disinfectants so that we get them to do what we need them to do.  In the case of the stories I shared today, cleaning certainly saves lives

Thanks Brandon and Shukria for sharing your stories and allowing me to honour the memories of your grandparents.

Bugging Off!




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