Editorial Note: The following are excerpts from a presentation by Dr. Stephanie Dancer.
Why the debate about MRSA and hospital cleaning?
Just because there is no direct evidence linking surface level hygiene and MRSA acquisition, doesn’t mean there isn’t any. There is evidence for every stage of the staphylococcal transmission cycle between man and his environment.
How clean are hospital surfaces?
Microbiological standards for surface hygiene in hospitals
This standard is based upon food industry counts as applied to food preparation surfaces but could be used for frequent hand-touch surfaces in hospitals.
*Specific organisms such as S. aureus, MRSA, C. difficile, E. coli 0157, VRE, Salmonella, etc.
Source: Dancer S, J Hosp Infect (2004)
Why do we need to look at cleaning standards?
Staff will never wash their hands!
Source: Kim PW et al, AJIC 2003
Source: Farr et al, LI D (2001)
MRSA is the best indicator of hospital hygiene
Source: Wagenvoort JHT Eurosurveillance (2000)
Mopping Up MRSA: Created on February 25th, 2009. Last Modified on February 25th, 2009
Formerly a consultant microbiologist at the Southern General Hospital in Glasgow, Scotland (2005-7), Stephanie now works in NHS Lanarkshire and is the current editor of the Journal of Hospital Infection. She trained at St. Bartholomew's hospital in London (1977-83) followed by postgraduate studies in Pathology at Guy's hospital, where she produced a thesis on the epidemiology and biochemistry of toxin-producing staphylococci. She has worked in various remote areas of the world, including Papua New Guinea, Thailand, Vietnam and the Canadian High Arctic, where she resuscitated 30,000 year old organisms from glacial ice. She spent six years as the Infection Control Officer for Argyll before moving to Health Protection Scotland as their inaugural microbiologist (2002-5). There she set up MRSA surveillance for Scotland, evaluated real-time PCR for the rapid identification of MRSA and helped establish the Scottish Microbiology Forum. She has been an active member of several national working groups on antibiotic prescribing and hospital cleaning, and was a formal referee for the Scottish Health Technology Assessment on MRSA screening. At present she balances clinical and editorial duties with various research projects, specifically the role of antibiotics, screening and cleaning in the control of MRSA.
Dr. Stephanie J. Dancer
Department of Microbiology
Eaglesham Road, East Kilbride G75 8RG, UK.
Tel +44 (0)1355 585000
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