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, July 26, 2019

Are you a Judging Judy?


Many people in the healthcare field know that they make horrible patients.  They know too much.  They question everything and worse yet, they think they know better.  I don’t pretend to be a doctor or nurse.  I will admit to using Google and my background in epidemiology, pharmacology and growing up on a farm where you learn to assess your animals before the vet shows up has without a doubt turned me into a patient who asks lot of questions.  Working in the field of cleaning and disinfection, I think worse than asking questions about treatment options or diagnosis, I have become a person who judges.  I judge hand hygiene practices.  I judge over the level of cleanliness.  I judge the process of cleaning and disinfection (if I get to observe them in action) and I judge based on the type of disinfectant used.

What’s worse is that I also take pictures to share with others…

I’m getting old.  I recently started physiotherapy.  As with any healthcare appointment, you often have some time waiting in your exam room.  I should never be left alone.  It gives me the time to investigate and take pictures.  I’m happy to say my Physiotherapist uses good hand hygiene techniques.  They use a popular Quat-Alcohol product and liberally apply to achieve the longer than 1 minute contact time as the table was still damp when I was shown to my room.   Then, I was left alone and as the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words…

As the picture indicates they seemed to have missed a spot on the ultrasound machine and the glove box had some “gunk” on it.  I may have moved the box to see what was below it.  I also noticed that their disinfectant spray bottle, while it had the name of the product written in black sharpie, did not have any further information such as precautionary information or expiry date.  The product is a RTU so I doubt it had expired, but it certainly makes me wonder if they are topping up the bottles rather than using until empty and cleaning before reusing.

Physiotherapy offices, like doctor’s clinics and hospitals, are prone to having infectious agents like influenza, norovirus or MRSA, walk through the door.  Cleaning and disinfection of the environment and shared patient devices is vital to ensure infections are not transmitted.  While most of the treatments are non-invasive and performed on intact skin, some procedures can be more invasive and associated with mucous membranes such as the mouth, for physiotherapy on your jaw. 

While the media may not be promoting sensational outbreaks associated with a physiotherapy office, infection control practices should not be based on the fact that the number of outbreaks is low.  Everything is based on risk.  Some procedures are riskier than others.  The key is to be vigilant, ask questions and at the minimum remind your healthcare provider to wash their hands!

Bugging Off!

Nicole

PS – for my second visit I was in another room.  It was spotless, but I’ll continue to watch and you can be assured I’ll give them any advice on cleaning and disinfection that I think is prudent!

Friday, July 12, 2019

Be Careful what you Step (or Fall) in!


When it comes to pets, you either love them or hate them. If you love them, many of us can be separated into two camps: cat lovers or dog lovers. I happen to like both, but tend to lean towards cats. I have two. My older male cat may be a grumpy gus, but he loves his belly rubs and he loves to groom me. Not all cats groom “their” people, and frankly with his sandpaper like tongue and penchant for nibbling while he’s grooming, I sometimes wish he didn't love me as much as he does… 
  
The problem with pets is there is the chance for transmission of zoonotic diseases. Case in point is a study that was presented at ASM Microbe at the end of June that investigated 79 cases of pet associated Pasteurella multocida infections with reports of novel modes of non-bite transmission.  Pasteurella multocida is a common cause of infection following bites or scratches caused by dogs, and (especially) cats. If infection occurs, cellulitis at the site of injury is often the first thing that is present, but it can develop into a chronic infection of deep tissues. Of interest (at least to me) is that infectious complications occur in more than 50% of the cat-related bites and that cats of the female persuasion are most often to blame. Dog bites account for 15-20% of the reported infections and are generally associated with younger animals engaging in playful activities, mostly with children. 

In the study, 34 of the 79 cases of infection were not associated with bites or scratches. Of further concern was the fact that these infections were life-threatening. Upon investigation, some of the novel modes of transmission included:

  • Stepping on dog drool and contaminating a foot ulcer
  • Contamination of a wound by socks covered with cat hairs and dander
  • Falling down when drunk and contaminating abrasions with dog saliva
  • Epiglottitis after eating peanut butter and crackers that had been half-eaten by a dog

     As a cat lover, I would like to point out the it would appear that dog owners (or friends of dog owners) seem to lead a far more “adventurous” life or at the very least seem to throw caution to the wind expanding the 5-second rule to include eating not just food that has fallen on the floor, but to food that has been partly eaten by dogs… 

As saliva, dander and cat hair can be picked up from the floors, cleaning and disinfection of floors and other surfaces can help stop the chance of infection transmission. Pasturella is a gram-negative bacteria that is not spore forming, meaning that it is relatively easy to kill with the use of most Health Canada or EPA registered disinfectants.  

Infections, particularly potentially deadly ones are not a laughing matter. Pets are a part of our family.  They would not knowingly make us sick, but the next time you are bitten or scratched while playing with your pet, you may want to consider cleaning it thoroughly and keep an eye on wound to make sure it does not get infected. If like me, you have a cat who loves to groom you, try to keep the grooming to areas of your skin that do not have cuts!

Bugging Off!

Nicole