Infection prevention

Reusable staff clothes carry harmful bacteria

By: Susanne Björklund, September 27 2011Posted in: Infection prevention

Mölnlycke Health Care, Surgical division comments on the paper ”Nursing and physician attire as possible source of nosocomial infections”, Yonit Wiener-Well et al.

A paper recently published in American Journal of Infection Control, authored by Yonit Wiener-Well et al, Jerusalem, points out reusable staff clothes as a potential source of nosocomial infections, i.e. Healthcare Associated Infections (HAIs).

The findings are based on a study conducted on the reusable clothes that nurses and physician’s wear. Both used and clothes fresh from the laundry and not yet worn were included in the test and examined for bacteria.

The study shows that 100% of the clothes had bacteria and 63% were colonized with potentially pathogenic, i.e. harmful, bacteria. S Aureus, including MRSA strains, was the most common pathogen found. 50 % of the tested scrub suits, intended for use in the operating room, were also contaminated with pathogens.

In a situation where more than 1.4 million people worldwide1 suffer from HAIs and 1 of 10 patients become infected during their hospitalization, we can’t really afford not to do whatever we can to prevent these infections.

Single use staff clothing and scrub suits are always clean, always fresh and should be beneficial in minimizing the spread of bacteria in hospitals.

Read the abstract published in the American Journal of Infection Control.

1 Tikhomirov, E. WHO programme for the control of hospital infections.Chemioterapis, 1987. 6(3): P. 148-51.

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