Design of a mechanical hands-free door opener to eliminate infection through door handles.
Kirabo, Sheba Winfred
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Cross infections are defined as those that a patient acquires during his/her stay in a hospital or any other health facility, which were neither present nor incubating at the time of admission. It is absurd that many patients go to seek medical attention in hospitals and other health centres, only to leave with newer infections. Moreover, some hospital staff such as doctors, nurses, cleaners also develop infections from their working environment as they deliver their services and expertise to clients. Nosocomial pathogens can be spread from their source to a new host directly or indirectly, in the air or by vectors. Direct contact between patients is not common in health-care facilities but an infected health-care worker can get into contact with patients and transmit nosocomial pathogens to them. The increase in transmission of infections within health facilities is a serious problem, increasing both in severity and importance. As a result, bacterial antibiotic resistance also rises making treatment and infection control difficult. Therefore, it is important to find means of limiting or even preventing the transmission of pathogens within medical facilities. Surfaces in patients’ surroundings, including the door knob or handle, are a relevant transmission route for viruses and microorganisms. As door handles represent a transmission route for viruses and micro-organisms, an alternative door opening and closing mechanism, different from the usual one should be developed. One way to intercept this route of transmission is to equip doors with a foot-operated system to negate contact with their handles.