In the news this month:
In Profile – Celebrating our wonderful nurses!
– 2020 is International Nurses Year
– Investigating underlying conditions that affect the progress of the virus
– A new inhaler treatment to boost the immune system
Medical technology news
– Scientists develop a bionic eye
Infection control news
– Focus on hospital hand washing
– *NEW* face masks in stock
News in Focus: Thank you nurses!
In this month’s blog we would like to join with the rest of the nation in recognising all of the nurses who work across the country in so many important and life saving roles.
Tuesday 12th May was International Nurses Day and the date also coincided with the 200th anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale.
All of 2020 has been earmarked as International Nurses Year and the vital role of nurses has been highlighted as we face the world’s greatest health emergency. Nurses and other healthcare professionals are working extremely hard to take care of those who are unwell and in extreme cases, risking their own health and even lives.
It is no surprise that the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson went out of his way to thank the nurses who took care of him when he was in hospital suffering with the coronavirus.
The NHS has used the celebration to highlight the many opportunities in nursing careers. Find out more on the NHS website.
National review of COVID-19 outcomes
With the rapid emergence and global spread of COVID-19, the world’s medical researchers are playing catch-up and in past blogs we have looked at some of the efforts to find helpful treatments and an effective vaccine.
One of the aspects of COVID-19 that has puzzled scientists is the very different reactions that individuals have to the virus. These range from no symptoms at all, to loss of life.
Public Health England has recently announced a major study which will review a range of factors which could have an effect on the outcomes of those who contract the virus.
The research is looking at the many publicised possible ‘risk factors’ such as ethnicity, gender and obesity to see if clear conclusions can be drawn. The study is also assessing specific discrete groups of people such as the homeless, to measure their health outcomes, and also certain professions, like nurses and other healthcare workers.
The approach of the study is to look at the existing health records of people who have had the virus. New information continues to emerge all of the time so the aim is to take an objective and scientific approach to the evidence. Understanding how different groups are affected will help to create strategies to meet their specific needs.
The study is happening throughout May with the results to be published soon after.
A new treatment in inhaler form
As well as developing a better understanding of the coronavirus, scientists continue to look for a cure or treatments that can mitigate its worst effects.
According to the Sun Online, Scientists in Southampton have developed an inhaler which contains an experimental drug (SNG001) and has been designed to boost the immune system. Using an inhaler delivers the drug directly to the lungs where the disease is usually focused.
The treatment is dependent on a protein called interferon beta which the body naturally produces when it comes into contact with a virus. This method has already been used with positive results in Hong Kong (in combination with other drugs) and has also been used to treat multiple sclerosis.
Scientists have sent inhalers to 120 people suffering with COVID-19 in Southampton as part of the test phase.
Most people have a mild reaction to the coronavirus but for those who become very ill, this tends to be in the second week of its progress. The objective of the inhaler treatment is for sufferers to take it early, to prevent or reduce the serious symptoms which may emerge in this second phase, including pneumonia.
People participating in the trial will take a puff from the inhaler every day and be monitored over 14 days for temperature, oxygen saturation and the progress of the disease.
A previous clinical trial carried out on people in hospital showed positive results so it is hoped that following this further testing period (and necessary approvals) the pharmaceutical company Synairgen will potentially be able to roll out millions of doses.
Medical technology news
Scientists have invented a bionic eye
Are you old enough to remember the 1970s TV series starring Lee Majors as the Bionic Man?
Scientists are now making this sort of technology a reality with the invention of a bionic eye. Researchers from the US, Hong Kong and China recently published a paper in the journal Nature about their new invention.
This project has led to the creation of an electrochemical eye (EC-EYE) which consists of a “hemispherical artificial retina made of a high-density array of nanowires”.
The bionic eye mimics the photoreceptors found in the human eye and marks a step forward in technology because of its unique domed shape, which is modelled on the human retina.
The ‘eye’ currently only relays low resolution images and work needs to be done on how it can communicate with the brain but scientists are confident that this is the first step in the creation of usable bionic vision. There are also robotic applications where it is believed it will prove useful.
The next steps will be animal and then human testing with the objective of creating a usable prosthetic eye within 5 years. This is a major technological step forward for people who have experienced loss of vision.
Infection control news
Hand washing on hospital wards
We are always interested in the latest news on infection control, and Infection Control Today has recently published an article about hand washing in hospitals.
We are now all aware of the need for regular hand washing in our everyday lives and how important this hygiene strategy is for preventing the spread of disease.
Of course, regular hand washing is even more important in medical/surgical settings.
Researchers from the UK and the USA undertook a study of hand hygiene in a large UK NHS trust which has 1300 beds and 1200 staff. The method included interviews of healthcare workers, nurses, doctors and housekeeping staff and was published in the The American Journal of Infection Control.
The conclusion of the research was that nurse managers on wards play a vital role in managing hand hygiene because they take responsibility for overseeing this activity. They were also found to be proactive in managing infection control in general and worked collaboratively with other personnel such as infection prevention specialists.
Researchers concluded that nurse managers should be consulted by hospital management when guidelines are being updated.
This data was collected a year before the COVID-19 pandemic and has further highlighted the necessity to avoid hospital acquired infections (HAIs) or the spread of viruses in medical settings.
Face masks available in our online shop
Recent government guidance advises the public that they should consider wearing face masks when in enclosed public spaces such as shops and public transport, as this could help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
We have the following two new options available to buy:
Our washable black sponge mask has a filter and is available in our online shop for £4.99.
KN95 Mask packs
We are also offering packs of 10 KN95 non-medical face masks which have BFE filtration of 95%.
At Newton’s Medical Supplies we continuously review our product range to ensure that we have the right choice for our customers.
We are pleased to announce that our Sanisafe 4c antibacterial and antiviral wipes are returning to our shop due to popular demand.
The wipes have new packaging and will be available in easy to use pouches at £5.00 per pack of 100.
Effective against bacteria, viruses (including the Coronavirus, Swine Flu – H1N1) and fungi.
Expected mid June – so keep an eye on our shop!
Do you need other high quality medical and hygiene products?
Take a look at the consumable section of our online shop for our full range of products including hand sanitisers, hand wipes, disinfectants and related products.
Please get in touch with us if you have any questions about our product or stock.