Working to reduce the
spread of infections in
surgeries and hospitals

In high-turnover public areas such as these, we can see powerful results on all door handles, push plates and grab rails.

The US Centre for Disease Control (CDC) has conducted a review of international research and published a check list of key surfaces and objects in the ‘patient zone’ to especially target for cleaning.

These were selected on the basis of information regarding the contamination of these surfaces with healthcare associated pathogens (HAPs) as well as a consideration of the likelihood they would be touched during routine care by healthcare personnel without changing gloves or performing hand hygiene prior to using these items. These areas are listed below:-


Patient Areas

  • Bed rails
  • Over bed tray
  • Table call
  • Boxes/buttons TV
  • Control box
  • Telephones
  • Bedside tables
  • Patient chairs
  • IV pole
  • And many more...

Toilet Areas

  • Taps and sinks
  • Light switches
  • Door handles and push plates
  • Hand rails
  • Toilet seats and flush handles
  • Toilet roll holders
  • Bed pan cleaning
  • And many more...

Medical Equipment

  • IV pump control panel
  • Monitor control panel
  • Monitor touch screen
  • Monitor cables
  • Ventilator control panel
  • And many more...
Problem Surfaces

Interviews with IPC professionals in the NHS confirmed these as ‘high risk’ surfaces.

With regard to the potential application of antimicrobial peptide technology coating, it was considered that primary target surfaces would be those that have a high touch frequency but which are also difficult to clean and/or not cleaned regularly or cleaned very well. Problem surfaces which meet these criteria were identified as:-

  • Door handles/levers
  • Bed rails (some are plastic coated, others are stainless steel)
  • Hand rails/grab rails
  • IV Poles/stands
  • Bed pans & commode frames
  • Toilet flush handles
  • Keyboards/Laptops/touch screens/tablets
  • Phones (in particular, nurse station telephones)
  • Nurse call buttons
  • Electronic prescribing trolleys (EPMA)
Prime Target Applications

Surfaces on computer keyboards, tablets and telephones were of particular concern due to frequency of touch and difficulty to clean effectively.

Currently the antimicrobial peptide coating can only be applied to steel surfaces; the prime target applications would therefore be:-

  • Door handles and push plates
  • Bed rails
  • Grab rails
  • IV stands

Acute healthcare was considered the most important healthcare market for antimicrobial surfaces as the issue of HAI is so much more important than in primary care, although it was stated that environmental touch surfaces such as door handles, push plates and sanitary fittings would be potential applications.

There was a good awareness of antimicrobial copper, however it was considered expensive. Also the fact that copper ‘tarnishes’ over time was also considered an issue as it could appear dirty.

There was consensus that antimicrobial surfaces could have considerable potential in healthcare settings and help to reduce rates of HAI and associated mortality. However before widespread adoption, any antimicrobial surface must have a strong evidence base to support claims.

NitroPep satisfies the following criteria...


It must be fast acting. Many of the above surfaces have very high frequency of touch.


It must have a high kill rate to stop growth of pathogenic microbes.


It must be long lasting and not require frequent replenishment.