Dismiss hospital floors as a potential source of HCAI pathogens at your peril!

Dismiss hospital floors as a potential source of HCAI pathogens at your peril!

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A multicentre US study has shown that hospital floors can be a source of pathogens that can cause HCAI. Floors were heavily contaminated, high-touch items were in frequent contact with floors, and hands became contaminated with hospital pathogens as a result of contact with these items. Anybody who dismissed hospital floors as a potential transmission risk are missing a trick!

Historically, floors have been considered a minor risk in terms of transmitting hospital pathogens, and the focus has been on the disinfection of high-touch surfaces. In order to assess the potential for cross-transmission, a group of five hospitals collaborated to study the frequency of contamination of hospital floors and whether high-risk objects could be a contaminated as a result of contact. Around half of the 318 floors sampled in 159 patient rooms were contaminated with C. difficile (regardless of if the patient had C. difficile infection or not, and whether or not the patient had been discharged and terminal disinfection performed), and between 10 and 30% of floors were contaminated with MRSA and VRE. Amazingly, a point prevalence survey found that 41% of the rooms had one or more high-touch surface in contact with the floor. These objects transferred C. difficile to 3%, VRE to 6%, and MRSA to 18% of researcher hands following contact.

What we need now is a good quality intervention study to show that enhanced disinfection of floors (perhaps using our Sporicidal Granules) reduces the transmission of hospital pathogens. Any takers?