Trends In Infection Control

Infection Control in the Age of COVID-19

As the world continues to battle the coronavirus, infection control and the efforts made to reduce the incidence of infections throughout the healthcare system are only becoming more important.

  • Hand and personal hygiene have become more essential than ever1,2—not only helping to reduce the transmission of the deadly coronavirus but also helping to slow the spread of other dangerous pathogens, such as C.difficile, that too often thrive in the hospital setting.1 This initiative also includes thoroughly disinfecting hospital surfaces that can transmit pathogens through touching, as well as continually reminding patients and healthcare workers to avoid contact between their hands and their face and eyes.2

  • Healthcare workers caring for COVID-19 patients need N95 masks and proper PPE3,4—The American College of Physicians has specifically endorsed the use of N95 masks for COVID care. Current investigators believe N95 masks should be standard for all inpatient COVID-19 management—a recommendation based on data rather than on availability of this critical piece of personal protective equipment (PPE).3,4

    Insufficient supplies of PPE during the pandemic have led the CDC to recommend that hospitals experiencing shortages stop using isolation gowns for endemic pathogens such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), vancomycin-resistant Enterococci (VRE) and extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL)–producing gram-negative rods—and that gown use could be suspended in nonendemic settings for lower-risk patient encounters.5 Such strategies can potentially lead to more cross transmission and a greater incidence of healthcare associated infections (HAIs).5

  • We cannot lose sight of the lurking dangers of emerging HAIs5,6—As infection prevention resources are diverted to address the COVID crisis, we must remain vigilant in our traditional HAI surveillance and control efforts.5,6 Out of fear of contracting COVID-19, many patients have postponed crucial primary or preventive care visits and are presenting to the hospital in more severely ill states. The combination of compromised COVID-19 patients and high-risk non-COVID patients may leave hospitals vulnerable to a rise in central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs) and catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTIs). One hospital has already reported a 420% increase in their rate of CLABSIs.7 Clearly, infection preventionists need to stay proactively focused on best practices to prevent infections following invasive hospital procedures.6

Infection prevention

State-of-the-Art Practices to Prevent Surgical Site Infections (SSIs)

With the number of surgical procedures rising each year and more quality performance measures required to qualify for reimbursement, there is increased pressure on healthcare professionals and hospitals to reduce their rate of SSIs.8  The good news is that approximately half of SSIs are preventable through the application of evidence-based strategies.8

  • CDC guidelines make these strong recommendations, among others, based on quality evidence8

    • Administer parenteral antimicrobial prophylaxis only when indicated and timed such that a bactericidal concentration is established when the incision is made

      • In all cesarean section procedures—administer before skin incision

      • In clean and clean-contaminated procedures, do not administer additional doses of prophylactic agent after the surgical incision is closed

    • Implement perioperative glycemic control, using blood glucose target levels less than 200 mg/dL in patients with and without diabetes

    • Maintain perioperative normothermia

  • Consider innovative products that feature CHG antimicrobial technology—across the perioperative care continuum—as part of your institution’s SSI prevention program9

  • Skin preparation

  • Surgical irrigant solutions

  • Antimicrobial sutures

  • Antimicrobial dressings

  • The “7 S Bundle” methodology, created by Maureen Spencer, RN, BSN, MEd, CIC, FAPIC, represents an important emerging trend in the prevention of SSIs. It can be summarized as follows.10,11

Custom Solutions and Future opportunities

As the world continues to battle the coronavirus, infection control and the efforts made to reduce the incidence of infections through the healthcare system are only becoming more important.

BeneHold CHG antimicrobial adhesive technology can be customized to meet the needs of a wide range of applications and performance requirements to help combat this new normal.

If you are searching for an adhesive solution that offers the additional benefit of an antimicrobial agent, or would like more information on how you can take advantage of this unique BeneHold™ CHG adhesive technology, contact Avery Dennison Medical by completing the form below and a member of our team will contact you shortly.


1. Diamond, F. I’m downright nasty and clever to boot. Infection Control Today. 2020 Sep; 24(07): 8.

2. Diamond, F. How Lysol got EPA’s approval to fight COVID-19. Infection Control Today. 2020 Sep; 24(07): 10-11.

3. Diamond, F. All healthcare workers dealing with COVID patients need N95s. Infection Control Today. 2020 Sep; 24(07): 11-12.

4. Peled, H. There’s no substitute for an N95. Infection Control Today. 2020 Sep; 24(07): 12-13.

5. Stevens MP, Doll M, Pryor R, et al. Commentary: Impact of COVID-19 on traditional healthcare-associated infection prevention efforts. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 2020; 1–2. doi:10.1017/ice.2020.141.

6. Dyer, J. What happens to HAIs when COVID-19 takes over? Infection Control Today. 2020 Sep; 24(07): 25-26.

7. Popescu, SV. Contact Tracing for COVID-19? Infection Preventionists can get it done. Infection Control Today. 2020 Sep; 24(07): 18-19.

8. Berrios-Torres SI,  Umsheid CA, Bratzler DW, et al. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guideline for the prevention of surgical site infection, 2017. JAMA Surg. 2017; 152(8):784-791.

9. Accessed 10/01/20.

10.  7 S Bundle. Accessed 10/01/20.

11. Edmiston Jr CE, et al. An incision closure bundle for colorectal surgery. AORN Journal. 2018;107(5):553-565.