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Source: Charite – Universitatsmedizin BerlinProject for infection prevention in hospitals at the World Health Summit Hospital infections with multi-resistant pathogens are increasingly a challenge worldwide: every year around 500,000 patients develop it in Germany alone, and around 10,000 to 15,000 of them die. But how can such infections be prevented? And can new spatial planning reduce the transmission of pathogens? An interdisciplinary team is doing research in the joint project KARMIN. Architects from the Technical University of Braunschweig, physicians from the Institute for Hygiene and Environmental Medicine at Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, and molecular biologists from Jena University Hospital, worked with corporate partners to develop an infection-preventive patient room. The demonstrator was unveiled today, and the KARMIN project experts have looked at both the hygienic and architectural challenges of planning patient rooms. In two studies, the team led by Prof. Dr. Petra Gastmeier and Dr. Rasmus Leistner from the Institute for Hygiene and Environmental Medicine at the Charité first examines how the microbiome, i.e. the entirety of microorganisms, builds up on the surfaces in the hospital and how various cleaning measures can influence the microbiome in the hospital. “We are pleased that we can make a further contribution to infection prevention as part of this joint project. The hospital should continue to be a safe place for patients in the future. With this project, we want to present an alternative, ”explains Prof. Gastmeier, director of the Institute for Hygiene and Environmental Medicine at the Charité. Clever spatial planning can help prevent the transmission of dangerous germs in hospitals. The team of architects led by KARMIN project manager Dr. Wolfgang Sunder from the Institute for Constructive Design, Industrial and Health Building (IKE) at the TU Braunschweig. Together with industrial partners, they have built a prototype for a new type of patient room. Workshops with nursing staff and cleaning staff formed the basis for the design of the infection-preventive two-bed room. “The expertise of technical experts and individual users of the patient room was specifically queried and documented. Based on the findings of these analyzes, requirements were then drawn up that served as the basis for the design of the infection-proof patient room, ”describes Dr. Sunder the methodical approach. One of the main transmission factors of multi-resistant pathogens is the bathroom. That is why the KARMIN prototype has two bathrooms in the two-bed room. It was important for the planners to choose materials and surfaces that were easy to clean. In addition, high hygiene standards and sensible care processes should be better linked. For example, the KARMIN patient room has an entrance area with control panel for room lighting and care work areas near the patient’s beds. The prototype has a total of four disinfectant dispensers along the work routes and in the vicinity of the patient beds, as well as mobile and seamless bedside tables. A special lighting system guides patients safely to their wet room even at night. “The KARMIN patient room shows that the close interdisciplinary cooperation between architects, designers and doctors with the involvement of practice partners pays off. As a result, a number of innovative solutions could be created from detail to space, ”reports Dr. Sunder: Based on the KARMIN recommendations, an infection-preventive patient room is to be developed as part of a follow-up project at the Charité, taking into account the structural conditions there. The results are to be incorporated into specific construction projects, such as the German Heart Center of the Charité. Specialists from the fields of medicine, nursing and building cleaning are invited to visit and participate in the survey of the KARMIN patient room from October 27 to November 22, 2020. Appointments to visit the demonstrator on the Charité Mitte campus, Virchowweg 10, in Berlin can be booked via the website https://karmin.info/. The patient room is located on the square between the CharitéCrossOver research building and the Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology. More pictures will follow.

KARMIN stands for “Hospital, Architecture, Microbiome and Infection”. The project will be funded from October 2016 to the end of 2020 by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) as part of the “Zwanzig20” funding measure and as part of the “InfectControl 2020” research association with around 1.5 million euros (of which around 650,000 euros for the TU Braunschweig). In addition to the TU Braunschweig, the network partners include the Institute for Hygiene and Environmental Medicine of the Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, the Jena University Hospital with the Septomics Research Group and Röhl GmbH , Greifswald, Jena and Würzburg. Together they develop new strategies to fight infectious diseases. The research projects of the consortium funded by the BMBF always cross the boundaries of traditional specialist disciplines and consistently consider infectious diseases according to the one-health approach. The researchers focus on the following areas: agriculture and veterinary medicine, mobility, climate and infrastructure, medical research and care, as well as the public and patients.

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ContactProf. Dr. Petra Gastmeier, Director of the Institute for Hygiene and Environmental Medicine, Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlint: +49 30 450 577 612

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