For many years, hospitals considered floors “non-critical” areas when it comes to cleaning and disinfecting. This means floors were viewed as an unlikely source for the spread of infection in a hospital setting.
However, a 2017 study published in the American Journal of Infection Control, has determined that floors do harbour dangerous germs and should be reclassified as ‘critical’ areas requiring more thorough cleaning and disinfecting.
To reach this conclusion, researchers swabbed floors in rooms with and without patients who had a C. diff infection. In the process, they found that some floors had additional contamination from MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) and VRE (Vancomycin-resistant enterococci) both of which have become resistant to most types of antibiotics.
The researchers reported the following:
* In rooms with a C. diff patient, floors were more likely to be contaminated with any of the three pathogens
* However, C. diff was the most commonly detected of the three pathogens and found on the floors of approximately 50% of the rooms.
* Some 41% of the rooms had one or more objects touching the floors such as medical devices, bed linens and towels; as these items are touched by patients or healthcare workers, it is possible germs from the floor will be transferred to their hands.
It appears this last point is key to how pathogens on the floor can cause infection. The researchers found that after healthcare workers handled an object in contact with the floor, MRSA existed on 18% of the workers’ hands; VRE 6%, and C. diff at 3%.
With such a dispersion of pathogens, new deep cleaning methods need to be investigated and implemented in hospitals worldwide to prevent outbreaks of infection.
But while this report mainly focuses on hospitals, all public areas are at risk from cross-contamination, and this applies particularly to washroom areas, where the standards of some of the washroom users can leave a lot to be desired.
That is why it is important to have your washroom equipped and managed to a very high standard from hand cleaning materials to hand-drying systems – and this is where NWR Hygiene Group can help.
Our expertise in washrooms and washroom management has enabled us to partner with some of the top names in the Hygiene business, which means that we can offer our clients the best performing washroom products at the best possible prices.
For more information, contact our customer team on 01207 505275 and find out why NWR Hygiene Group has such a high reputation in the industry.