Hospital floors become contaminated with microorganisms from settling airborne bacteria by contact with shoes, wheels and other objects. The removal of such microbes is a component in controlling the healthcare-associated infections that can cost up to €7 billion per year in Europe.1 Furthermore, in an investigation of the cleaning of hospital floors, the CDC found that just a few hours after floor disinfection, the bacterial count was nearly back to the pre-treatment level.² The wheelchair is one of the only pieces of equipment within a hospital that is utilised by nearly every department and nearly every patient. With the widespread use and important role that seated transport plays in the hospital setting, many are surprised to learn that the wheelchair was not designed for the hospital environment. Being the industry leader in patient mobility, Stryker Medical, in collaboration with the Michael Graves Design Group, redesigned this piece of patient transport equipment with microbial contamination in mind.
The Stryker Prime TC Transport Chair has several features that help to enhance a hospital’s cleaning and disinfection procedures. Prime TC is made with a molded plastic, seamless design and powder-coated steel that eliminates fabric rips and reduces the risk of rust that can be difficult to clean. Foot operated flip-up footrests and a foot operated braking system allow for reduced bending and help prevent the transfer of germs and debris from touching dirty footrests and brakes.
Lexamed, a third party biomedical testing laboratory, compared and assessed the buildup of soil on the Stryker Prime TC Transport Chair vs. a traditional wheelchair over the course of 25 cleaning cycles.³ The chairs were contaminated with a riboflavin solution (representing a simulated soil) and cleaned using a standard healthcare facility procedure utilising CaviWipes. The units were evaluated for residual riboflavin using fluorescence testing, and photographed throughout the 25 cycles.
Overall, the Prime TC Transport Chair proved to be easier and more effectively cleaned than a traditional wheelchair typically found in a hospital setting. Specifically, the armrest, push handles, and seat were easier to clean on the Prime TC Transport Chair as compared to a standard wheelchair design. These areas showed little-to-no riboflavin build-up over time on the Prime TC Transport Chair.