Simple Remedies Greatly Reduce Hospital Contamination
According to two studies from the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA), regular cleanings of sanitizer dispensers can greatly reduce contamination and issuing personal dispensers can increase the rate of sanitizer use.
Regular Dispenser Cleaning Reduces Contamination by 75 Percent
- The first study from the ASA observed contamination rates for two hospitals.
- In one hospital sanitizing gel dispensers were wiped down after each use while dispensers in the second hospital were never wiped down.
- Samples were taken from frequently touched surfaces at each hospital every four hours.
- Researchers found that the number of bacterial units found in the hospital in which the dispensers were wiped down increased from 1 to 23 throughout the day, the hospital where the dispensers were not wiped down increased to 93 bacterial units.
Personal Dispensers Lead to More Use
- A second study reviewed whether issuing personal dispensers would lead to a more sanitized environment.
- Before being issued a personal dispenser, healthcare workers used sanitizing gel 23 percent of the time prior to patient contact and 43 percent of the time post-patient contact.
- After being issued a personal sanitizing gel dispense, use rose by about 30 percent with compliance prior to patient contact reaching 53 percent and following patient contact reaching 72 percent.
Hospital Acquired Infection Statistics
- The studies are part of an ongoing campaign to reduce the number of hospital acquired infections which, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, result in an estimated 99,000 patient deaths every year and cost the U.S. roughly $30 billion.
- About 5 to 10 percent of all hospital patients will suffer from a hospital acquired infection, most of which are the result of human error such as not sanitizing one’s hands.
The most common hospital acquired infections are:
- Bloodstream Infections
- Ventilator-Associated Pneumonia
- Infections at Surgical Sites
- Clostridium Difficle
- Catheter-Associated Urinary Tract Infections
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