Richmar (Chattanooga, Tenn.) has introduced an anti-microbial electrode intended to prevent infection in users of electrotherapy devices.
The MicroBlock electrode was designed to inhibit and kill the growth of common disease-causing bacteria as well as superbugs such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in people who use a transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) device in a hospital, rehabilitation or other healthcare setting.
MicroBlock electrodes are effective against common bacteria on and around the “zone of inhibition” — the area directly surrounding and including the electrode, according to the company. Test results reported for MicroBlock include:
- Zones of inhibition around MicroBlock’s electrode surface up to 5.65 mm were observed.
- No growth of E. cloacae (CRE), S. aureus (MRSA), E. coli (i.e., ESBL), E. faecalis (VRE), P. aeruginosa or A. baumannii was demonstrated.
- The antimicrobial electrodes demonstrated nearly 100% effectiveness at reducing all six microorganisms.
“Scientific testing of MicroBlock, in research and development for 16 months, has proven its efficacy in dispatching infection-causing bacteria,” Richmar senior VP Ryan Moore said in a prepared statement. “MicroBlock has been tested to maintain antimicrobial performance over the 10-application lifespan of the electrode.”
FDA-listed benzethonium chloride, the antimicrobial agent in MicroBlock, is among the suggested alternatives to chlorhexidine gluconate, an antiseptic agent that is known to have rare but severe allergic reactions, Moore added.
“Evidence shows that bacteria can be transferred on an electrode from one treatment to the next, potentially reintroducing bacteria to a patient when their immune system is compromised,” he said. “In fact, the CDC estimates that 1 in 31 hospital patients will have at least one such healthcare-associated infection. MicroBlock reduces this threat by eradicating microbes on the surface of the electrode between treatments.”