It’s not just soft surfaces that are a problem, either. It’s toilets, tray tables, hand rails, and light switches, among other things!
And while HAIs (Hospital Acquired Infections) are the big concern (not only do patients have weakened immune systems, even treatments as simple as an antibiotic increase their HAI risk), healthcare workers are affected, too! While healthcare workers are known for being sick more often (and are often required to take precautions like vaccinate), some of that risk is just becoming a carrier for diseases, whether they’re spreading it between rooms/patients, or to their families.
This is all data thanks to a recent study that asks questions about how and how much hospital rooms are cleaned, how that affects bacterial colonies on surfaces, and how that affects patient outcomes!
Here’s another concern: different pathogens are killed more successfully with different cleaners. While cleaning a room top-to-bottom twice (or more) seems like overkill, other options, like non-touch cleaning (using light sources) or even something like (gasp!) colloidal silver might be better options once more research is done. With better technology will come better tracking, and cleaning a room based on the illness in it might be helpful, too (although that’s probably moot since, again, doctors can track germs between rooms—even if they wash their hands, one study found their white-coats were a big source of germs).
One of the biggest risks to patients is C. difficile, a type of gastrointestinal infection that’s common, and more likely to infect you when you’re on a course of antibiotics (which is standard for most hospital patients—it rules out small infections in ER patients, and is used preventatively for surgery patients). Other infections projected to become increasingly common include superbugs like MRSA, and CRKP (antibiotic resistant pneumonia). Fighting them all is going to be a big battle for hospitals in the near future without big breakthroughs or sweeping changes. And a hospital is only as good as the one down the street—so figuring out cooperation will be key!
One of the biggest risk factors is a weakened immune system—so be sure to support yours (consider trying colloidal silver). And support your good bacteria with probiotics, either from a source like yogurt or a supplement.
What do you think? Tell us in the comments!