Hypochlorous acid comes to Honduras

Hypochlorous acid comes to Honduras

The Loma de Luz mission hospital is perched on a hillside overlooking the Caribbean Ocean, near the village of Balfate, Honduras. Loma de Luz is isolated – being about an hour and half by road from the nearest city and five hours away from San Pedro Sula, the country's commercial capital. The hospital serves a primary catchment area of 50,000, but nearly 80% of the patients are referrals from across the country. The hospital’s beautiful natural setting is matched by the quality care provided by mostly American volunteer missionary doctors.

In October, Lincoln headed out to Honduras to deliver a Hypo 7.5 and fogger to the Loma de Luz hospital. The hospital had previously been using bleach and quats for disinfection, but were interested in the cost saving benefits, reliability and quality of onsite hypochlorous acid generation.

Jeff McKenney, the hospital's director and founder, lead the hospital's switch to hypochlorous. McKenney and his wife are both healthcare professionals and Christian missionaries who started the hospital in the early 1990s. Their vision was to bring affordable medical care and a Christian ministry into the remote area, where residents were living a day's trip away from medical assistance. This vision has come to life in the form of a full-service hospital, bilingual school, and children's care home. The hospital has 29 beds, an outpatient clinic, pharmacy, dental clinic, and 4 operating rooms--and it's still continuing to expand!

Hospital cleaning staff now fog down all operating rooms with a Vectorfog C100 fogger and HOCl they've generated on-site.

The ability to generate hypochlorous onsite is an attractive option for hospitals because hypochlorous can replace a variety of products, opening up the budget and reducing supply chain dependency. In remote hospitals like Loma de Luz, there is an even greater need for self-sufficiency. Traveling local roads to purchase supplies is difficult in the best of times and can be impacted by flooding during the rainy season. For McKenney, the cost savings the hospital would gain from switching to hypochlorous generation were critical. He did a thorough analysis that shows a reduction of about 80% in bleach expenditures (they will continue to use it in the laundry) and additional savings on quaternary compounds.

After a quick training on how to use the machine (it's about as simple as making coffee), the hospital staff were up and running. The cleaning crew worked with Lincoln to re-design their cleaning procedures to incorporate hypochlorous. That regimen now involves cleaning the floors first with soap and water, and then fogging them with hypochlorous. Operating rooms are physically cleaned with hypochlorous instead of quaternary compounds and then the entire room is fogged. Any other manual cleaning that was done with bleach is now replaced by hypochlorous.
Elsewhere in the hospital, hypochlorous will also be used for wound care. One doctor had been using Dakin's solution (bleach dilution) for wound and skin treatments and will now be able to replace that with hypochlorous. The hospital’s pharmacy can now also dispense hypochlorous for wound, eye and infection treatment.

Lorenzo, one of the hospital's technicians, helps train the cleaning crew in how to generate a batch of hypochlorous.

The savings will be significant to a hospital that tries to keep their rates affordable for the local population. The operational changes were fairly simple to design and implement. Hypochlorous will be up to 80 times more effective than the bleach solutions it is replacing. Plus, there will be less truck trips from town to bring loads of bleach. The benefits seem so obvious - HypoSource wonders why every hospital doesn’t do what Dr. McKenney has done!

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