How Poor Sanitation Practices Can Cause Hospital Superbug Outbreaks
Hospitals are supposed to be the cleanest environments possible to reduce the risk patients will catch additional infections while undergoing treatment. Unfortunately, a new report published in the Annals of Internal Medicine suggests hospitals are not as clean as the public might believe. The researchers reviewed 80 other studies on hospital cleanliness in the years between 1998 and 2015.
The study on hospital cleanliness was carried out to determine policies for how to best disinfect hard surfaces in hospitals. Researchers found many similar studies lacked an effective methodology. For example, many studies on hospital cleanliness focused on using one cleaning product instead of comparing it to others. This would imply current research and policies on how to sterilize hospital surfaces are limited.
Studies on hospital cleanliness are extremely important, as an estimated 75,000 people died from hospital-acquired infections in 2011 nationwide. Some hospitals place a heavy reliance on handwashing and ignore the importance of disinfecting surfaces. Researchers affiliated with the study speculate only half of hospital surfaces are properly disinfected. Unsurprisingly, this allows bacteria such as MRSA and C. difficile to colonize throughout hospitals, causing serious illness and death for patients.
Are Hospitals Working Towards Becoming More Sanitary?
Hospitals have started utilizing high-tech gadgets to counteract the spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. By using robotic equipment that utilizes ultraviolet rays and hydrogen peroxide vapor, hospitals are hoping to stop the spread of fatal infections and save the lives of patients.
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