Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Nosocomial Infections and Bath Basins

Apparently there's another way, besides through unwashed hands and infected teddy bears, to contract a nosocomial infection: wash basins. According to Justine O'Flynn, a RN who conducted research on this topic at her hospital in Kentucky, wash basin pose a threat to patients for a number of reasons. First of all, the water can easily become contaminated through unwashed hands or through reusable wash cloths. The cloths and hands can transport bacteria into the water, which subsequently infects the patient, often entering the body through cuts, scrapes, or sores. Bacteria can also be spread from person to person through contaminated water.
In addition, O'Flynn testifies that half of the wash basins that were tested in her hospital showed signs of organism growth. Although this statistic is from one hospital, I would assume that many other hospitals in the country would have a similar statistic.
To combat the potential infection threats, O'Flynn suggests that hospitals start to use packaged cloths with cleaning agents already in them instead of wash basins. This would decrease the risk of infection because there would not be as many chances for patient to patient or doctor to patient contamination.


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