Coronavirus never reached Plasgarnedd Care Home in Anglesey. And owners of the home, former nurse Elen Hughes and her husband Trevor Hughes, put their COVID-19 free home down to a simple £20 face covering.
- Coronavirus update: NHS test and trace scam you need to be aware of
The couple have hailed the face covering, coated in a ground-breaking protein called Viruferrin, as “life-saving”
They purchased the Virustatic Shield face coverings for all their staff very early on in the pandemic when the World Health Organization confirmed the COVID-19 pandemic threat.
This decision, they believe, is the main reason the care home was able to control the disease, despite one resident becoming ill with the virus and given a positive diagnosis.
“The face covering, in my opinion, definitely stopped any type of transmission to my staff,” said Elen.
“This meant none of them passed it on to the other residents. The protective face coverings have been life-saving. I stand by that. There is not a doubt in my mind that it saved the lives of our residents.”
Elen, who oversees a team of 120 carers and support staff over two sites and in the community, made the decision to provide face coverings for all employees some time before guidance from Public Health Wales was changed to make them compulsory for the sector.
“I saw these face coverings on the news and decided right there and then to go ahead and purchase them for my team. At that time, we were under no obligation to do that, we were told by Public Health Wales that we just needed aprons and gloves, but because of my nursing background and I guess, a gut feeling, I just knew that the situation was serious and that we needed to protect our residents (all of whom are in single rooms) and that to do so we needed to protect our staff – even though there were no confirmed cases here,” continued Elen.
“However, subsequently, one of our ladies became ill. When her condition deteriorated, our resident was admitted to hospital where it was confirmed that she had the COVID-19 virus.
“I have no doubt that this lady will have been infectious while she was in our care before and that the Virsutatic face coverings worn by our staff alongside scrupulous hygiene prevented them from becoming infected and spreading the virus through our home.”
Some care homes in North Wales have unfortunately not been as fortunate. One with a similar number of residents, which received a positive diagnosis at the same time, has seen several staff members and residents test positive for COVID-19 and a number of fatalities.
Elen added:“We’ve had a similar set of results across both of our sites, so it can’t be coincidence. Others sadly haven’t been so lucky, and I simply put that down to the fact we’ve worn Virustatic Shields and that our amazing staff have followed our own strict infection control guidelines.”
Virustatic Ltd, the leading biotech organisation behind the masks, donated 20 of its Shields to Plasgarnedd. Overall it donated 15,000 of its coverings to frontline workers, charities and those most at risk across the UK.
- Coronavirus update: The dangerous effects of drinking more alcohol
Paul Stanton, a former national Director of NHS Board development, who works as an independent consultant with NHS organisations and with senior clinicians commented: “In any care home there is a significant risk that staff who have become infected in the course of their ordinary lives may, before their symptoms develop, unintentionally bring COVID-19 into their place of work and thus spread the virus to colleagues and to residents – unless they are suitably protected against airborne transmission of infected particles.
“Where residents, as was the case at Plasgarnedd, are isolated within single rooms, unprotected staff could all too easily have spread the virus from one infected resident to others – and indeed to their colleagues. However, it seems that in this case the Virustatic protective face coverings helped to prevent any onward transmission. It will be important to establish, through properly conducted clinical trials, how important a contribution the protective face coverings can make in other private sector residential care settings”.
Initial discussions are already underway between Virustatic and Care England, the umbrella representative body for private sector residential care home providers, to initiate such trials.
“It will also be vital to the wider UK economy to establish, through properly conducted and evaluated trials, the contribution that these protective face coverings can make in other non-care workplaces. Potentially, the ability of this new form of face covering to prevent the spread of airborne particulate infections in workforce intensive employment settings could be game changing” Paul Stanton said.
This week it was announced that the ground-breaking Viruferrin coating used on the Virustatic Shield has been independently tested and proven to prevent SARS-CoV-2 infection at a cellular level. The discovery is being hailed as a significant breakthrough in the fight against the disease, paving the way to research that could deliver a cure. The next step is clinical trials on preventative and curative applications of the Viruferrin technology.
Paul Hope, Inventor of the Virustatic technology and products said: “The coating has been demonstrated to protect the cells. If that is replicated within the respiratory systems and lungs it will stop the virus spreading because it cannot infect other cells. We believe the tests demonstrate the effective preventative and curative ability of this coating against COVID-19.”
Paul made it his mission to find a way to prevent deaths caused in pandemics after his own grandfather died of the Spanish Flu in 1919. This latest discovery builds on 10 years of work by Paul, his family and a team of British scientists and virologists.
Paul ended: “I am delighted to hear that our face coverings have already proven life-saving for Plasgarnedd Care.”
Source: Read Full Article