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'Keeping it Clean' really can reduce transmission of infection

A recent VA study found that daily cleaning of high-touch surfaces in patient isolation rooms significantly reduces the rate of pathogens on the hands of health care personnel. A recent VA study found that daily cleaning of high-touch surfaces in patient isolation rooms significantly reduces the rate of pathogens on the hands of health care personnel.

A recent VA study found that a daily cleaning of high-touch surfaces in isolation rooms of patients with Clostridium difficile (also known as C. diff) or methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (better known as MRSA) significantly reduces the rate of pathogens on the hands of health care personnel.

"Our findings underscore the importance of environmental cleaning for reducing the spread of hard-to-treat infections," said Dr. Sirisha Kundrapu, a researcher at the Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center and the study's lead author.

Kundrapu said she and her team conducted a prospective, randomized trial comparing regular cleaning protocols of housekeeping staff with daily disinfection of hightouch surfaces—including bed rails, bedside tables, call buttons, phones, toilet seats and bathroom hand rails—performed by researchers in 34 C. diff and 36 MRSA isolation rooms.

"Our study assessed hand contamination of physicians, nurses and research staff six to eight hours after disinfection procedures," Kundrapu explained. "In rooms where we disinfected daily, we found significant reductions in the amount and frequency of pathogens on the hands of investigators as well as health care personnel caring for the patients.

The study was published in the October 2012 issue of the journal Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology.


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