Are hygiene standards useful in assessing infection risk?
We monitored the surface level cleanliness in a 5-bed surgical intensive care unit (SICU) over a 10-week period to evaluate proposed hygiene standards. Ten environmental sites within the SICU were sampled twice weekly, along with collection of clinical and patient activity data. The standards designate aerobic colony counts (ACCs) > 2.5 colony-forming units/cm2 from hand-touch sites and the presence of Staphylococcus aureus as indicating hygiene failure. The results demonstrate that hygiene standards based on microbial growth levels and the presence of S aureus reflect patient activity and provide a means to risk-manage infection. They also expose a staphylococcal reservoir that could represent a more tangible risk to patients. Standards for surface level cleanliness merit further evaluation. Am J Infect Control. 2008;36:381-4.
Publication Type: Journal article
Publisher: American Journal of Infection Control.