Home Hygiene & Health
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May 28th: Using disinfectants on high frequency touch surfaces could reduce spread of infections and drug resistant bacteria in hospital settings

This new study evaluates whether daily use of a peracetic acid/hydrogen peroxide pre-impregnated wipe in place of the existing standard practice (detergent cleaning with cloth soaked in a bucket containing 1,000 ppm chlorine) led to a significant reduction in microbial contaminants on high frequency hand contact surfaces. The wipe was a dry preimpregnated (sporicidal) wipe that generates peracetic acid/hydrogen peroxide when activated with water. The study was performed on 2 wards in a 1,000-bed teaching hospital over 29 weeks. Surfaces were decontaminated with the preimpregnated wipe or cloth soaked in chlorine following a 5-week baseline assessment of microbial bioburden on surfaces. A total of 1,566 samples were taken from high frequency contact surfaces (toilet flush handle, toilet seat and grab handle, bed rails, tray table, and locker etc)

Overall, there were significant differences in the recovery of total aerobic bacteria (P < .001), total anaerobic bacteria (P < .001), between wards and between the different parts of the study. Generally, impregnated wipes produced the largest reduction in the total aerobic and anaerobic counts when compared with baseline data or use of 1,000 ppm chlorine. Collectively, training plus daily wipe disinfection significantly reduced multidrug-resistant organisms recovered from surfaces. The authors suggest that greater efficacy of the preimpregnated wipe may be due to its ability to retain and not transfer microbial burden to multiple surfaces, which has been demonstrated in other studies.

Reintroduction of using detergent and chlorine following the use of preimpregnated wipe saw a significant increase in aerobic count in some (toilet flush handle, tray table, and locker) but not in all sites sampled

Since it is impossible to ensure that hands cannot be kept hygienic all the time, the results demonstrate that use of effective disinfectants on high frequency contact surfaces could contribute to reducing infection transmission.

The study can be found at: American Journal of Infection Control 2018. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ajic.2018.03.020