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Healthcare worker hand hygiene is known to prevent healthcare-associated infections, but there are few data on patient hand hygiene despite the fact that nosocomial pathogens may be acquired by patients via their own unclean hands. The purpose of this study was to measure patient hand hygiene behavior in the hospital after visiting a bathroom, before eating, and on entering and leaving their rooms
Acute care teaching hospital in Canada.
Convenience sample of 279 adult patients admitted to 3 multiorgan transplant units between July 2012 and March 2013.
Patient use of alcohol-based hand rub and soap dispensers was measured using an ultrasound-based real-time location system during visits to bathrooms, mealtimes, kitchen visits, and on entering and leaving their rooms.
Overall, patients performed hand hygiene during 29.7% of bathroom visits, 39.1% of mealtimes, 3.3% of kitchen visits, 2.9% of room entries, and 6.7% of room exits.
Patients appear to perform hand hygiene infrequently, which may contribute to transmission of pathogens from the hospital environment via indirect contact or fecal-oral routes.
Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 2014;35(11):1336–1341
The objective of this study was to determine the prevalence of Staphylococcus-contaminated stethoscopes belonging to emergency department (ED) staff and to identify the proportion of these that were Staphylococcus aureus or methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).
We conducted a prospective observational cohort study of bacterial cultures from 100 ED staff members' stethoscopes at three EDs. Study participants were asked to complete a questionnaire.
Fifty-four specimens grew coagulase-negative staphylococci and one grew methicillin-susceptible S. aureus. No MRSA was cultured. Only 8% of participants, all of whom were nurses, reported cleaning their stethoscope before or after each patient assessment. Alcohol-based wipes were most commonly used to clean stethoscopes. A lack of time, being too busy, and forgetfulness were the most frequently reported reasons for not cleaning the stethoscope in the ED.
This study indicates that although stethoscope contamination rates in these EDs are high, the prevalence of S. aureus or MRSA on stethoscopes is low.
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