Infection risk associated healthcare worker contact with patient privacy curtains

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To determine whether pathogenic bacteria could be transferred to health care workers by touching privacy curtains, imprints of health care workers’ fingertips were obtained when participants were approached, after hand hygiene with alcohol handrub, and directly after handling curtains” Larocque et al (2016).

Abstract:

To determine whether pathogenic bacteria could be transferred to health care workers by touching privacy curtains, imprints of health care workers’ fingertips were obtained when participants were approached, after hand hygiene with alcohol handrub, and directly after handling curtains. Participants’ hands were heavily contaminated at baseline, in some cases with potentially pathogenic species. Half of the participants (n = 30) acquired bacteria on their fingertips from handling curtains, illustrating that privacy curtains may be involved in the transmission of infection to emergency department patients.

Reference:

Larocque, M., Carver, S., Bertrand, A., McGeer, A., McLeod, S. and Borgundvaag, B. (2016) Acquisition of bacteria on health care workers’ hands after contact with patient privacy curtains. American Journal of Infection Control. July 4th. [epub ahead of print].

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajic.2016.04.227

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