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Patients' Bath Basins Increase Risk for Hospital-Acquired Infections
Date:1/29/2009

-New study shows infectious bacteria growing in 98 percent of hospital bath basins

CARY, Ill., Jan. 29 /PRNewswire/ -- Patients across the country may be opening themselves up to infection as a result of bathing practices applied in hospitals. According to a study published in the January 2009 American Journal of Critical Care, bath basins are a significant source for the transmission of hospital-acquired infections (HAI), especially to patients that are immune-compromised and those at high-risk. It is estimated that 1.75 million to 3.5 million patients admitted to U.S. hospitals, or 5 to 10 percent of all patients, contract nosocomial or HAIs leading to approximately 100,000 deaths annually.

The study, conducted at intensive care units at Presbyterian Hospital in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Wishard Health Services in Indianapolis and Westerly Hospital in Westerly, Rhode Island, evaluated 92 basins finding 98 percent contained a variety of micro-organisms associated with infection.

Multidrug-resistant organisms that were found, such as the superbug multiple-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), Vanocomycin-resistant Enterococci (VRE), S. aureus, Enterococci, gram-negative organisms, P. aeruginosa, C. albicans and E. coli can lead to conditions, including pneumonia, meningitis, septicemia, and urinary tract infections (UTI), among others requiring further patient treatment and extended time in the hospital.

Debra Johnson, RN, BSN, OCN, CIC, lead investigator in the study suggests bath basins are a reservoir for bacteria and simple steps should be taken to further reduce the potential for infections.

"Every single person that walks into a hospital is immune-compromised. That is why it is important that we increase awareness of bath basins as a source for the transmission of infections," said Johnson. "Prevention measures such as rinsing out
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SOURCE Sage Products Inc.
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