Covid Update and Caring for you
Dr Robert Rutland’s take on the guidance from John Hopkins University
I thought I would share with you the Johns Hopkins University guidance on Covid-19 with my comments added. This is more than the “Wash your hands!” mantra and actually explains some of the reasoning from a microbiological point of view.
- The virus is not a living organism, but a molecule of RNA covered by a protective layer of fat (lipid) which, when absorbed by the cells of the lining of the eyes, nose or mouth, changes their genetic code. This converts them into multiplier and attacker cells.
- The inside of the virus is very fragile; the thing that protects it is a thin outer layer of fat. This means that the best remedy is to use a detergent because foam BREAKS THE FAT DOWN. That’s why you have to rub so much: for at least two choruses of “Happy Birthday” and make a lot of foam. By dissolving the fat layer, the protein molecule disintegrates and breaks down on its own.
- Heat also melts the fat. So using water above 25 degrees to wash your hands, clothes and everything else. In addition, hot water produces more foam, which makes it even more effective. At LifeSmiles, our taps have a high temperature water supply in line with Legionella guidance. When you walk into LifeSmiles, there will be a sink for you to wash your hands.
- Alcohol or any mixture with alcohol greater than 65% dissolves fat but especially the external lipid layer of the virus.
- Any mixture with 1 part of bleach and 5 parts water directly dissolves the protein, breaks it down from the inside. At LifeSmiles, we are using the latest disinfectant hypocholorous acid. This is extremely effective against viruses and bacteria and destroys them on surfaces within one minute. It is also very safe to use.
- Hydrogen peroxide helps after soap, alcohol and chlorine, because peroxide dissolves the proteins of the virus, but you have to use it pure and it hurts the skin and can hurt the mouth.
Top Tips to protect yourself and how LifeSmiles is helping
- Never shake used or unused clothing, towels or sheets. While the virus is glued on a porous surface, it is very inert and disintegrates only between 3 hours (fabrics are porous), 4 hours (copper, because it is naturally antiseptic; and wood, because it removes all moisture and does not let it detach and it disintegrates), 24 hours (cardboard), 42 hours (metal) and 72 hours (plastic). But if you shake it or use a duster, the virus molecules float in the air for up to 3 hours and can settle in your nose.
- The biggest issue in dentistry with Covid-19 is droplets and aerosols. We will be leaving surgeries “fallow” between patients who need an aerosol generating procedure (AGP). For your protection we have installed high volume extractor fans that will change the air in each of the surgeries 6 times in 6 minutes. (We will have to ensure no small children are in the surgery when they are switched on). In fact nobody will be in the surgery when they are activated. Each surgery at LifeSmiles now has a double door with an anteroom for two reasons: reduce the chances of aerosol contamination of the rest of the practice and as an area for doffing our protective equipment.
- Viral molecules remain very stable in external or artificial cold, such as in air conditioners in homes and cars. They also need moisture to remain stable and especially darkness. At LifeSmiles, we will not be using air conditioning but we do have a dry, warm and bright environment, along with our engrained methods of meticulous cleaning and disinfection. This will degrade the virus more quickly.
- The virus cannot penetrate intact, healthy skin, but it it may be able to penetrate damaged skin due to dermatitis (eczema). This means it is really important to moisturise as well as washing your hands. This is particularly the case for LifeSmiles staff as we have always washed our hands between patients.
- More open or naturally ventilated areas are less virally loaded. The smaller the space, or the room, the higher the concentration of the virus. That is unless the room has been cleaned and the air purged before you enter, which is what we now do at LifeSmiles.
- This is said so much, but you have to wash your hands before and after touching a moist mucous membrane (eyes, nose etc.) food, locks, knobs, switches, remote control, cell phone, watches, computers, desks, TV, etc. It is also especially important when using the toilet.
- At LifeSmiles, all this has been taken into account when deciding surgery design, overall clinic design, the new one-way system for the flow of people through the clinic and the simplicity of each surgery with no clutter.
- You must wet dry hands, for example, wash them thoroughly because viruses can hide in skin creases, wrinkles or cuts and the denser the moisturiser, the better.
- At home, I recommend E45 above all other moisturisers for this. It is very effective and a lot cheaper than the “designer” ones. If you have problems with dermatitis and your moisturiser isn’t working then I would stick to hand sanitiser most of the time.
- Also keep your nails short so that the virus doesn’t hide under the nail. This is an essential part of our cross infection control for staff, and always has been.
Keep checking this page for new updates.
In the light of all of the above, you will see that at LifeSmiles, we have worked hard to do the very best to keep all our patients and staff safe.
For further information on any of our services or to book an appointment, call 01635 861076