Stopping Hospital Infections
Each year hospitals end up killing twice as many people than automobiles, some 90,000 deaths in the United States. It is not from malpractice, it is due to infections. Hospital infections affect over 2 million patients every year. Scientists are working to prevent these infections one of the newest innovations is silver nano-particles. Microscopic anti-microbial coated nano-particles would be used to keep the infections at bay. Tools used in surgery would be coated with these particles, along with perhaps rubber gloves. One of the companies working on this scheme is AcryMed, which makes surgical devices in Portland, Oregon.
Almost any medical device, which is used in surgery or pokes thru the skin are potentially at risk to spread deadly infections. Deadly microbes can live on biofilms or thin layers of slimy biomaterial so small that they cannot be seen without a microscope. If someone is infected it could cost over $50,000 to keep them in the hospital to treat them, obviously the return on investment to sterilize and coat the surgery utensils makes sense. Silver has been used to treat infections throughout time and there are ancient writings of its use in both Greek and Roman writings.