Monday, April 9, 2012

Over 90% of hospital privacy curtains contaminated

A new study published in the American Journal of Infection Control reports that over 90% of hospital curtains examined six times over a three week period at a US hospital were contaminated at least once with Staphylococcus aureus, MRSA, VRE, or aerobic gram-negative rods.
"Forty-one of 43 curtains (95%) demonstrated contamination on at least 1 occasion, including 21% with MRSA and 42% with VRE. Eight curtains yielded VRE at multiple time points: 3 with persistence of a single isolate type and 5 with different types, suggesting frequent recontamination."
Hospital curtains are frequently touched by hospital patients, staff, and visitors. The study concludes that "privacy curtains are rapidly contaminated with potentially pathogenic bacteria. Further studies should investigate the role of privacy curtains in pathogen transmission and provide interventions to reduce curtain contamination."

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