As winter descends in Australia, hospital staff brace themselves for the inevitable influx of flu cases. This period places a strain on healthcare resources, mandating robust protocols for hygiene and safety. In the frontline of this battle is an unsung hero – stainless steel. Its unique properties make it indispensable in providing hygienic and safe healthcare environments.
Stainless steel’s prominence in healthcare is primarily due to its remarkable resistance to corrosion and bacterial growth. Unlike other materials, stainless steel does not degrade when in contact with water, disinfectants, or biological materials. This resistance is heightened by the presence of a thin, protective, self-repairing passive film on its surface. This not only provides durability but also prevents harbouring and transmission of pathogens, a necessity in an environment besieged by the flu virus.
During the flu season, healthcare facilities see an increase in patient admissions, testing the limits of hygiene protocols. Stainless steel plays a pivotal role in maintaining these standards. Its non-porous and smooth surface prevents microorganisms from finding crevices to lodge and multiply. Moreover, it withstands routine and deep cleaning processes without structural or aesthetic compromise, ensuring consistent hygiene maintenance during this busy period.
Stainless steel is also essential in infection control measures. Medical instruments, beds, and even door handles made of stainless steel are less likely to serve as vectors for the flu virus. Thus, stainless steel indirectly aids in preventing cross-contamination and mitigating the spread of influenza within healthcare facilities.
While stainless steel is resilient, its maintenance is crucial in preserving its hygienic properties. Regular cleaning with the right products is key. This includes non-abrasive cloths and pH-neutral cleaning agents to prevent damaging the protective film. It’s also recommended to rinse and dry the stainless steel after cleaning to avoid water spots which could harbour microorganisms.
Stainless steel, with its superior hygienic qualities, serves as a vital asset in healthcare settings, especially during the challenging winter flu season. By understanding its benefits and caring for it properly, medical staff can ensure their facilities remain safe, hygienic spaces for patient care.
If you’re interested in high-quality stainless steel products for your healthcare facility, please visit our product page here.
: Zhu, D., Romain, C.J., Williams, D.F. (1989). “The corrosion of stainless steel in human body fluids.” Journal of Materials Science: Materials in Medicine, 1(1), 14-20.
: Midgley, D. (2014). “Hygienic Design and Corrosion Resistance of Stainless Steel.” Journal of Applied Microbiology and Biochemistry, 2(1), 1-8.
: International Stainless Steel Forum. (2012). “Stainless Steel and Corrosion.” The A to Z of Stainless Steel.