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Am J Infect Control. 2018 Nov 21. pii: S0196-6553(18)30984-2. doi: 10.1016/j.ajic.2018.09.030. [Epub ahead of print]

Spores on wheels: Wheelchairs are a potential vector for dissemination of pathogens in health care facilities.

Author information

1
Research Service, Louis Stokes Cleveland Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Cleveland, OH.
2
Geriatric Research, Education, and Clinical Center, Louis Stokes Cleveland Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Cleveland, OH; Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Cleveland, OH.
3
Geriatric Research, Education, and Clinical Center, Louis Stokes Cleveland Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Cleveland, OH; Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Cleveland, OH. Electronic address: Curtis.Donskey@va.gov.

Abstract

In a hospital and affiliated long-term care facility, we found that shared wheelchairs were frequently contaminated with health care-associated pathogens, including Clostridium difficile spores. A network graph of 851 wheelchair transports over 3 days demonstrated frequent movement between inpatient wards and outpatient clinics, radiology, and physical therapy. These results highlight the potential for shared wheelchairs to serve as a vector for pathogen transmission.

KEYWORDS:

Clostridium difficile; Disinfection; Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus; Portable equipment

PMID:
30471969
DOI:
10.1016/j.ajic.2018.09.030

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