Hazardous Hospital Rooms

Hazardous Hospital Rooms

New research published in the American Journal of Infection Control (AJIC) presents the dangers of sinks that are placed directly next to toilets in intensive care units (ICU) and the effect they can have on the areas around them. Recent findings demonstrate sink drains can be highly contaminated with Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenemase (KPC), increasing the risk of dangerous germ transmission. Klebsiella is a type of bacteria that can lead to numerous healthcare associated infections including, but not limited to, pneumonia, bloodstream and wound infections and surgical infections. What is more frightening for the healthcare industry is that Klebsiella has increasingly developed resistance to specific classes of antibiotics.

The study posted by the AJIC was performed in a 26-room intensive care unit of a 600-bed hospital located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Two separate swabs were collected from the sink drains of both the sink directly next to the toilet, as well as the one at the entrance of the doorway. The results of the test found that 87% of patient sinks next to toilets were positive for KPC, compared to about 22% of sinks near entrance doorways. Furthermore, 80% of the rooms in which the sink by the entrance was positive for KPC, the sink near the toilet was also possible. This suggests a potential source of cross contamination. Although we could speculate how these types of contamination actually occur, researchers are still unclear.

Blake Buchan, PhD, and Dr. Silvia Munoz-Price wrote. “If sinks next to toilets are indeed a reservoir for KPC, additional interventions — such as modified hand hygiene practices and sink disinfection protocols — may be needed to stem the risk of transmission among health care providers and patients alike.”

A proper hand hygiene technique can make a huge difference when it comes to containing the spread of germs. Here are 10 important steps you should take while washing your hands to ensure you cover all your bases.

  1. Wet hands with warm water
  2. Apply enough soap to cover all hand surfaces
  3. Rub hands from palm to palm
  4. Rub soap over the back of each hand and fingers
  5. Rub palm to palm with fingers interlocked
  6. Rotational rubbing of left and right thumbs
  7. Rub fingernails into palms
  8. Rinse hands with water
  9. Dry thoroughly with a single use towel
  10. Use towel to turn off faucet

Although a proper hand washing regiment can be effective in preventing germs from spreading, there are added measures that should be taken to make sure bathrooms stay clean including proper disinfecting of surfaces and toilets. Choosing the right disinfecting product is a huge first step in making sure healthcare facilities stay clean and up to standard. SSS Pleascent Clean Bathroom Cleaner is an effective and proven germ and odor eliminator specifically designed for: hospitals, child care centers, nursing homes, schools, hotels and other public facilities. This product is safe to use on many bathroom fixtures such as toilets, sinks, walls, tables, chairs, mirror frames and shower stalls. Its non-acid formula and powerful deodorant means it will not harm delicate surfaces and will leave rooms smelling pleasantly clean. Keeping patients safe and healthy during their stay is one of the top concerns of any healthcare facility. Although it is nearly impossible to prevent 100% of germs from spreading this product followed by proper hand hygiene techniques can be a big help in dealing with those types of concerns.


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