Monday, December 3, 2012

Hospital Privacy Curtains: Vectors of Contagion?

Well it has been an exceedingly busy week in the hospital on the infectious diseases consult service, keeping me away from many things, including blogging and reading.

Here is an article from the American Journal of Infection Control that caught my eye this morning. Neither the methodology nor the outcome is anything novel. Regardless, the results are worth mentioning.

In the above study, 92% of privacy curtains sampled during the study showed contamination. Forty-one of 43 curtains (95%) demonstrated contamination on at least 1 occasion, including 21% with MRSA and 42% with VRE. Eight curtains yielded VRE at multiple time points: 3 with persistence of a single pulse field gel isolate type and 5 with different types, suggesting frequent recontamination.

Here is a CBS News article related to hospital curtain bacterial contamination study mentioned above.

Privacy curtains between patients in rooms, like much of the hospital's inanimate environment, are teeming with potential pathogens. The relative contribution of curtains to the development of hospital acquired infection is not known.

Perhaps newer technologies, such as antimicrobial textiles, may help limit the bioburden on hospital curtains. Hand hygiene immediately prior to touching a patient is likely of greater benefit.

Wash those hands.

1 comment:

  1. Here is an article from the American Journal of Infection Control that caught my eye this morning. Neither the methodology nor the outcome is anything novel. Regardless, the results are worth mentioning. blinds kent

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