Going to a hospital isn’t supposed to be a life-threatening experience. Nevertheless, every tenth patient who seeks care is afflicted by a healthcare associated infection (HAI). These infections often occur in conjunction with medical or surgical procedures and more than half of them are caused by bacterial growth on medical devices.
Bacteria and other microbes that adhere to the surfaces of medical devices result in increased risk of infection. The microbes often form a biofilm, making them more resistant to antibiotics and the patient’s own immune system. The urinary tract, respiratory tract and bloodstream are three of the most common areas where HAIs arise. The infections require antibiotic treatment, which means they also contribute to increased antibiotic resistance.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has stated that antibiotic resistance is a global urgent issue where infection prevention has a crucial role to play, i.e., every infection prevented is an antibiotic treatment avoided.
With the Bactiguard Infection Protection technology, based on a very thin noble metal alloy coating, fewer bacteria adhere to medical devices without the need for any additional handling or medication. When fewer bacteria attach, there is a decreased risk of infection. The technology is both tissue-friendly and safe for the patient and can be used on virtually all kinds of materials used for medical devices and implants, for example urinary catheters and endotracheal tubes.
The Bactiguard technology derives from Swedish Nobel Prize laureate Gustav Dahlén, the man behind the famous AGA Lighthouse. His apprentice Axel Bergström developed the technique of applying a thin layer of metals to non-conductive materials and then passed this knowledge on to his apprentice, Billy Södervall. Billy Södervall, in turn, refined the technique and in the 1970s started applying the noble metals to medical devices, which also laid the foundation for Bactiguard.
Twenty years after innovator Billy Södervall started applying the noble metals on medical devices, the technology was registered by the FDA and approved for patient use. Today, more than 200 million medical devices have been used with this coating technology, preventing infections all over the world.