Portsmouth, UK (March 20, 2006) - - Patients undergoing procedures that suppress their immune systems, such as bone marrow transplant or chemotherapy, face many risks when they leave the hospital. Highly vulnerable to infection, these patients return to their homes where the simple act of taking a shower may expose them to dangerous pathogens that live in water systems. Many hospitals worldwide, particularly transplant units, protect against waterborne pathogens with point-of-use showerhead filters. Pall Corporation (NYSE: PLL), global leaders and pioneers in point-of-use filtration for hospitals, today introduced the home version of their hospital shower filter, the Pall-Aquasafe? Water Filter for HomeCare Applications.
This clinically proven, CE-marked medical device extends the same technology used in hospitals to remove fungal spores, bacteria and protozoa from water for home use. The Pall-Aquasafe Water Filter for HomeCare Applications is currently available in Europe. The first disposable showerhead for use in the home is being introduced at the annual conference of the European Group for Blood and Marrow Transplantation (EBMT), March 19-22, in Hamburg, Germany.
In addition to bone marrow and other transplant patients, people with chronic illnesses may need similar protection. The filter is appropriate prophylactic protection for those with cystic fibrosis, chronic lung disease, cancers, leukemia and other blood disorders, severe wounds, HIV/AIDS and any other disease that weakens the immune system.
Showers are particularly problematic for people vulnerable to infection. When water flows through a showerhead, tiny water droplets containing contaminants separate from the main water stream and are spread by air currents in all directions. Some are inhaled as aerosols, while others condense onto surfaces where contamination can be transferred through touch. Inhalation of pathogenic waterborne microorganisms by immunocompromised patients can lead to debilitating and costly infections. The Pall-Aquasafe showerhead prevents these contaminants from entering the environment directly at the point of use.
The disposable showerhead, designed to be as effective in the home as it is in the hospital, protects against pathogens dispersed through water, including such potentially deadly agents as Legionella, Pseudomonas aeruginosa ? the most common cause of severe life-threatening lung inflammation in cystic fibrosis patients, Acinetobacter, Aspergillus (mold), fungal spores, protozoa and parasites such as Cryptosporidium. These pathogens thrive in the biofilm that forms in water systems, which is then dispersed into the environment through an unprotected showerhead.
Water systems in private homes may be contaminated with pathogenic microorganisms. The potential dangers of infection sourced in the home have grown more serious over the past decade as transplant patients and others with serious illnesses are discharged earlier from hospitals. For example, in Germany, the average hospital stay for all patients declined 28.8 percent between 1993 and 2003, from 12.5 days to 8.9 days.
"The Pall-Aquasafe showerhead filter enables clinicians to send a measure of hospital-quality protection home with their seriously ill patients, who will now be able to shower safely without risk of infection," said Joseph Cervia, MD, Professor of Clinical Medicine and Pediatrics, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and Global Medical Director, Pall Corporation. "This new showerhead can make a significant difference in the lives of millions of people whose weakened immune systems leave them vulnerable to disease just from taking a shower."
Use of the new filter helps people lead more normal lives during convalescence. In addition, the showerhead gives parents of children vulnerable to infection a greater measure of reassurance.
"Patient protection is an important part of Pall's healthcare mission. We are pleased to extend the benefits of this protection from the hospital to people in their homes with our new showerhead filter, enhancing their quality of life as well as reducing their potential exposure to infection," said Dr. Stefan Rother, Global Marketing Manager, Hospital Water, Pall Corporation.
The Pall-Aquasafe Water Filter for HomeCare Applications is easy to install and use. Offering a double layer of sterile filtration, identical to that used in hospitals throughout Europe, the showerhead housing is also enhanced with a bacteriostatic additive to lessen the risk of reverse, or retrograde, contamination. The Pall-Aquasafe showerhead connects to the existing shower hose by means of a special adaptor packaged within a one-month starter kit, also containing two shower filters, disposal bags, labels and a special waterproof pen. Replacement packs contain two filters and additional disposal bags and labels. Showerheads may be safely disposed of in household refuse.
About Pall Corporation Pall Corporation is the global leader in the rapidly growing field of filtration, separations and purification. Pall's business is organized around two broad markets: Life Sciences and Industrial. The Company provides leading-edge products to meet the demanding needs of customers in biotechnology, pharmaceutical, transfusion medicine, semiconductor, water purification, aerospace and broad industrial markets. Total revenues for fiscal 2005 were $1.9 billion. The Company headquarters is in East Hills, New York with extensive operations throughout the world. Visit Pall at http://www.pall.com.
Additional information on the new 14-day, all-microorganism Pall-Aquasafe home filter for Europe as well as information on the global line of PallAquasafe hospital filters can be found on http://www.pall.com/healthcarewater.
Media Contact Marcia Katz Director of Public Relations Telephone: 516-801-9851 Fax: 516-484-3649 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org