Sunday, November 23, 2014

Antimicrobial Scrubs- Still Looking for the Magic Bullet

This article, a randomized trial to decrease bacterial contamination of scrubs in a hospital setting, caught my eye over the weekend.

The investigators employed a prospective, randomized, cross-over study design to assess the impact of antimicrobial scrubs (Chitosan-Sanogiene) in 110 healthcare workers. At study conclusion, 30% of scrubs were contaminated with pathogenic bacteria, including S.aureus. There was no difference in bacterial contamination between standard and study scrub.

The science of antimicrobial scrubs is imperfect. We published a study of antimicrobial scrubs demonstrating a reduction in some bacterial counts (MRSA) but not VRE and gram negative rods. The hands of the HCWs were equally colonized regardless of the attire type.

To date, we do not know the proportionate impact of apparel on hospital acquired infections. Healthcare worker hands are colonized with pathogenic bacteria regardless of attire choice. Cross transmission of pathogens in the hospital is still most likely via the hands of the healthcare worker.

We are still searching for the infection prevention magic bullet.

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