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Monitoring environmental cleanliness on two surgical wards

Dancer, S.J. and White, L.F. and Robertson, C. (2008) Monitoring environmental cleanliness on two surgical wards. International Journal of Environmental Health Research, 18 (5). pp. 357-364. ISSN 0960-3123

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Abstract

Ten hand-touch sites were screened weekly on two surgical wards over two consecutive six-month periods. The results were analysed using hygiene standards, which specify 1) an aerobic colony count (ACC) >2.5cfu/cm2, and 2) presence of coagulase-positive staphylococci, as hygiene failures. Sites most often failing the standards were beds and hoist (64%: 33 of 52 weeks), bedside lockers (62%: 32 of 52) and overbed tables (44%: 23 of 52). Methicillin-susceptible/resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA/MRSA) were more often recovered from lockers, overbed tables and beds. Recovery of MSSA/MRSA at any site was significantly associated with an ACC>2.5cfu/cm2 from that site (p=0.001; OR: 3.35 (95% CI 1.79, 6.28)). In addition, total ACC's>2.5cfu/cm2 each week were significantly associated with weekly bed occupancies >95% (p=0.0004; OR: 2.94 (95% CI 1.44, 6.02)). Higher microbial growth levels from hand-touch sites reflect weekly bed occupancies and indicate a risk for both resistant and susceptible S.aureus. These organisms are more likely to be recovered from near-patient sites on the ward.