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Point of Use Filters Whats the Risk?
Point of Use Filters installed on taps, showers or as a inline application can be an effective measure in providing a physical barrier between patients and contaminated water sources. However, all Point of Use Filters are at risk from retrograde contamination where bacteria from external sources can attach to the outer surfaces of the filter. Bacteria can then be transferred in the filtrate water, exposing the patient and compromising control. Sources of contamination can include splashback from drains and the wash hand basin, day to day handling, water sampling and ineffective cleaning.
To ensure effective control NHS Estates and Infection Control teams can take some simple steps;
- Routine Cleaning of the external filter surfaces is essential, regardless of the advertised filter lifecycle as contamination can and will occur at any time from installation.
- Select a filter that provides enough Activity Space between the outlet and basin that facilitates hand washing whilst reducing the likelihood of touching the filter or increasing the risk of splash back.
- Antimicrobial Silver additive technology such as Biomaster, that is impregnated into the filter can help reduce the rate of bacteria growth between routine cleaning.
- Adequate Awareness Training is important to ensure filters remain an effective control measure. This should include all stakeholders such as estates, engineering, infection control, domestic and clinical staff.
- Effective ongoing Management of filters to include correct installation, monitoring, maintenance and tracking of scheduled exchange dates is critical. As filters are not a fit and forget solution.
For more information and advice on the management of Point of Use Filters get in touch on 028 38 894 455 or email email@example.com and to view T-Safe Point of Use Filter range click HERE.