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J Hosp Infect. 2017 May;96(1):54-58. doi: 10.1016/j.jhin.2017.03.012. Epub 2017 Mar 16.

Rate of contamination of hospital privacy curtains on a burns and plastic surgery ward: a cross-sectional study.

Author information

1
College of Medicine, BSc Med Research Program, Max Rady College of Medicine, Rady Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.
2
Department of Microbiology, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.
3
Department of Biosystems Engineering, Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.
4
Manitoba Firefighter's Burn Unit, Health Sciences Centre, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.
5
Manitoba Firefighter's Burn Unit, Health Sciences Centre, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada; Department of Surgery and Children's Health, Max Rady College of Medicine, Rady Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Electronic address: logsetty@umanitoba.ca.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Surfaces in the patient environment may play a role in microbial transmission if they become colonized by bacteria. Patient privacy curtains are one such surface that may pose a high risk for transmission because they are high-contact surfaces, are infrequently cleaned, and healthcare workers are less likely to wash their hands after contacting inanimate objects such as curtains.

AIM:

To determine the amount and type of bacterial colonization of patient privacy curtains at a regional burns/plastic surgery unit.

METHODS:

Privacy curtain contamination on the burns/plastic surgery ward was determined for two separate occasions six months apart: 23 curtains on August 2015 and 26 curtains on January 2016. Dey-Engley neutralizing agar (DENA) replicate organism detection and counting (RODAC) contact plates were used daily to sample curtains near the edge hem where they are most frequently touched. Microbial contamination was reported as cfu/cm2 and the presence of meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) was determined. Swabs were also taken of any open wounds and from tracheostomy sites on the ward.

FINDINGS:

Curtain contamination in August 2015 was 0.7-4.7 cfu/cm2 with 22% testing positive for MRSA, whereas contamination on January 2016 was 0.6-13.3 cfu/cm2 with 31% of curtains testing positive for MRSA.

CONCLUSION:

Curtains on the burns/plastic surgery ward become colonized with significant quantities of bacteria. Future studies will need to address the rate of colonization and the clinical impact of this colonization to better inform cleaning protocols.

KEYWORDS:

Burn injury; Curtains; Environmental sampling; Hospital-acquired infection; MRSA; Wounds

PMID:
28413115
DOI:
10.1016/j.jhin.2017.03.012
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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