Story originally published July 2020
The new NHS Nightingale Hospital in Exeter has been fitted with a full medical gas package provided by BeaconMedaes. Two elements of the equipment fitted – Gem Shield outlet covers (2nd Fix) and medical gas alarm fascias – include Biomaster antimicrobial protection supplied by BeaconMedaes partner, Addmaster. The hospital is one of five built around the UK to cope with an increase in COVID-19 patients should there be a second surge.
Located in a former and now unrecognisable Homebase store, NHS Nightingale Hospital Exeter has five wards. Two are ICU critical care wards with 22 beds each and three are normal wards with 24 beds each. The hospital will take COVID-19 patients from Devon and Cornwall as well as neighbouring counties.
BeaconMedaes installed an air plant and a vacuum plant at the hospital as part of the full medical gas pipeline system (MGPS). The air plant provides medical air to the patient and the vacuum plant provides suction if required. Each bed position in the standard wards has three Gem Shield outlets - one for oxygen, one for medical air and one for vacuum. Clinicians connect their medical gas delivery equipment to the relevant outlet when needed. In the ICU critical care wards where the need for oxygen, air and vacuum may be greater, there are two of each outlet at every bed position, so six in total per bed.
For safety and infection prevention, each Gem Shield outlet is manufactured with the Biomaster antimicrobial additive. There are more than 400 Gem Shield outlets on the Exeter project. All user-accessible parts incorporate the Biomaster antimicrobial additive to actively reduce the growth of bacteria, thus greatly limiting the chance of cross infection. In addition to the Gem Shields, Biomaster is also added to the fascias on the alarms located at the nurses' station. The alarms alert nurses if there is an issue with the medical gas supply.
Andy Tudor, Business Line Manager at BeaconMedaes UK, explains: “We had a team of nine installation engineers on site for seven weeks. The project was fast track - work like this normally takes months, but obviously this hospital needed to be up and running as quickly as possible. Our partnership with Addmaster ensured that any equipment positioned near patients and staff would support infection control and prevention in the future.”
Biomaster is added during the manufacturing process and guarantees fast, effective inbuilt antimicrobial protection for the effective lifetime of the product, helping to keep surfaces clean and hygienic and thereby reducing the risk of cross-contamination.
The active agent in Biomaster is based on silver ion technology and has three modes of action: when bacteria come into contact with a Biomaster protected surface, the silver ions prevent them from growing, producing energy or replicating, therefore they die.
Unlike some antimicrobial agents, Biomaster is incredibly durable, long-lasting and highly active. When added, it is dispersed throughout the entire item and becomes an integral part of the product. Silver is inorganic and non-leaching, which means that it stays within the item to which it is added. The controlled release of the active ingredient provides maximum antibacterial protection for the lifetime of the product.
The benefits of silver as a natural antimicrobial have been known for thousands of years but Biomaster pioneered the use of silver based antimicrobial additives and is now the recognised leader in antimicrobial additive technology.