Are hygiene standards useful in assessing infection risk?

Liza F. White, Stephanie J. Dancer, Chris Robertson, John McDonald, National Health Service (Funder)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

67 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We monitored the surface level cleanliness of a five-bedded surgical intensive care unit (SICU) over a ten-week period in order to evaluate proposed hygiene standards.Ten environmental sites within SICU were sampled twice weekly along with collection of clinical and patient activity data. The standards designate aerobic colony counts (ACCs) >2.5cfu/cm2 from hand-touch sites and the presence of Staphylococcus aureus as hygiene failures. Nearly a quarter of 200 samples failed the standards, mostly from hand-touch sites on curtains, beds and medical equipment. The total number of fails each week was associated with bed occupancy (p=0.04), trending towards association with SICU-acquired infections (p=0.11). Environmental S.aureus was associated with the proportion of beds occupied (p = 0.02). Indistinguishable genotypes were found between patient and environmental staphylococci, with timescales supporting staphylococcal transmission in both directions. Hygiene standards based on microbial growth levels and the presence of S.aureus reflect patient activity and provide a means to risk manage infection. They also exposed a staphylococcal reservoir that could represent a more tangible risk to patients. Standards for surface level cleanliness deserve further evaluation.
LanguageEnglish
Pages381-384
Number of pages3
JournalAmerican Journal of Infection Control
Volume36
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2008

Fingerprint

Hygiene
Critical Care
Intensive Care Units
Infection
Touch
Hand
Bed Occupancy
Staphylococcus
Staphylococcus aureus
Genotype
Equipment and Supplies
Growth

Keywords

  • hospital cleaning
  • clinical environment
  • staphylococci
  • hospital-acquired infection
  • intensive care unitrunning head
  • hygiene standards and infection risk

Cite this

White, Liza F. ; Dancer, Stephanie J. ; Robertson, Chris ; McDonald, John ; National Health Service (Funder). / Are hygiene standards useful in assessing infection risk?. In: American Journal of Infection Control. 2008 ; Vol. 36, No. 5. pp. 381-384.
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Are hygiene standards useful in assessing infection risk? / White, Liza F.; Dancer, Stephanie J.; Robertson, Chris; McDonald, John; National Health Service (Funder).

In: American Journal of Infection Control, Vol. 36, No. 5, 06.2008, p. 381-384.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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