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Majority of uniforms test positive for multi-drug resistant pathogens

More than 60% of doctor and nurse uniforms tested positive for potentially dangerous bacteria, according to a new study, Science Daily reports.  Researchers collected swab samples from the sleeve-ends and pockets of the uniforms of 75 registered nurses and 60 doctors at the Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem. They found 65% of nurse uniforms and 60% of doctor uniforms contained multi-drug-resistant pathogens (e.g. MRSA).

The authors noted that more hand washing could help control uniform bacteria counts, as well as wearing a clean uniform every day, adequate laundering, using plastic aprons when necessary and even discarding white coats.

"It is important to put these study results into perspective," said Russell Olmsted, president of the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology. "Any clothing that is worn by humans will become contaminated with microorganisms. The cornerstone of infection prevention remains the use of hand hygiene to prevent the movement of microbes from these surfaces to patients."

Also on the superbug file:  Guelph General Hospital's C. difficile outbreak officially ended on Thursday after the number of C. difficile cases fell in August.  Guelph General vice-president Elizabeth Bain told the Guelph Mercury, "Just because the outbreak is over, we still work to improve our cleaning processes."

Waterloo Region's hospitals are also back to a "normal" level of hospital-acquired cases of the bacterial infection.

Meanwhile, the oncology (cancer) unit at Windsor Regional Hospital has been closed to new patients because of a recent spread of superbugs. Hospital CEO David Musyj said nine patients have tested positive for either VRE, MRSA or C. difficile.


  1. Check out the bed occupancy rates at Guelph, Waterloo and Windsor. I bet you will find them higher than 85%, probably closer to 100%. I suspect that is a key reason why C.difficile, MRSA and VRE are spreading like wildfire through these hospitals. No beds to properly isolate known and suspected cases. Also check out previous cuts in cleaning staff and hours on the job.



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