Bacteria in Hospitals Stink

allaboutestates, August 9, 2012: Actually the article title in the July 26th Globe and Mail was ‘Researchers find dangerous bacteria in hospital sinks.’
I had previously blogged on the importance of hand washing to reduce infections in hospitals ). I reported that according to Ontario Council of Hospital Unions, hospital acquired infections are the fourth largest killer in Canada. Each year, 220,000- 250,000 hospital acquired infections result in 8,000-12,000 deaths.

So what have the researchers now discovered? They have found that the handwashing sinks that were specifically installed in the intensive-care units and some of the patient rooms had actually become the breeding ground for the drug-resistant bug! Hard to believe but true- the actual systems designed to avoid infection was actually spreading the infection. What’s a patient to do?
Alcohol gel is now the recommended method for cleansing and preventing the spread of infection.
I was recently in a hospital visiting a patient who had swabbed positive for MRSA and as such was in a room by himself. He had been initially been admitted as a result of a severe infection that resulted in an amputation. Yet, he was placed in a shared room, (which resulted in his now testing positive for MRSA) and has now subsequently moved into a private room. I wonder if perhaps a private room should have been his starting point, given that he was so ill. He has now transferred into a rehab bed and is one of four people sharing the room. I am quite concerned that his first bout with MRSA will not be his last.

Lessons Learnt: Those bottles of alcohol gel are there for a reason….. please remember to use them.

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