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Posted: 6/3/2008 6:50:56 PM EST
linkeroo

By Michael Kahn

LONDON (Reuters) - Disinfectant wipes routinely used in hospitals may actually spread drug-resistant bacteria rather than kill the dangerous infections, British researchers said on Tuesday.

While the wipes killed some bacteria, a study of two hospitals showed they did not get them all and could transfer the so-called superbugs to other surfaces, Gareth Williams, a microbiologist at Cardiff University, said.

The findings presented at the American Society of Microbiology's General Meeting in Boston focused on bacteria that included methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA.

"What we have found is there is a high risk," Williams, who led the study, said by telephone. "We need to give guidance to the staff on how to use the wipes because we found there is a possibility of cross transfer."

MRSA infections can range from boils to more severe infections of the bloodstream, lungs and surgical sites. Most cases are associated with hospitals, nursing homes or other health care facilities.

The superbug can cause life-threatening and disfiguring infections and can often only be treated with expensive, intravenous antibiotics.

Experts have been saying for years that poor hospital practices spread dangerous bacteria, and yet many studies have shown that health care workers, including doctors and nurses, often fail to even wash their hands as directed.

The findings from a study of intensive care units at two Welsh hospitals suggest that even cleaning with antimicrobial wipes may not be enough depending on how staff use them.

The researchers found that many health care workers cleaned multiple surfaces near patients, such as bed rails, monitors and tables with a single wipe and risked sweeping the infections around rather than cleaning them up.

"We found that the most effective way to prevent the risk of MRSA spread in hospital wards is to ensure the wipe is used only once on one surface," Williams said.
Link Posted: 6/3/2008 6:52:41 PM EST
Every third world and developing nation I've been to the people get sick with far less frequency than in the west.
I came down with a cold while I was in China and my students wanted to take me to the hospital.
Link Posted: 6/3/2008 7:00:35 PM EST
[Last Edit: 6/3/2008 7:01:37 PM EST by Skibane]
Give hospital staff pure Isopropyl alcohol in spray bottles.

Spray surfaces.

Let air dry.
Link Posted: 6/3/2008 7:02:44 PM EST

Originally Posted By Skibane:
Pure Isoproypl alcohol in spray bottles.

Spray surfaces.

Let air dry.


70% is more effective than 100%.

It still leaves quite a bit behind, though.
Link Posted: 6/3/2008 7:05:09 PM EST

Originally Posted By JonasWright:
Every third world and developing nation I've been to the people get sick with far less frequency than in the west.
I came down with a cold while I was in China and my students wanted to take me to the hospital.


Plenty of people get sick in Asia. They just go undiagnosed and usually die of causes attributed to other issues due to poor diagnosis.
Link Posted: 6/3/2008 7:21:05 PM EST

Originally Posted By Tolip:

Originally Posted By Skibane:
Pure Isoproypl alcohol in spray bottles.

Spray surfaces.

Let air dry.


70% is more effective than 100%.

It still leaves quite a bit behind, though.


Huh? Why would 30% water by volume be better than pure alcohol? Not that I even know where to get stronger than 91%...
Link Posted: 6/3/2008 7:29:11 PM EST

Originally Posted By MoparMike:

Originally Posted By Tolip:

Originally Posted By Skibane:
Pure Isoproypl alcohol in spray bottles.

Spray surfaces.

Let air dry.


70% is more effective than 100%.

It still leaves quite a bit behind, though.


Huh? Why would 30% water by volume be better than pure alcohol? Not that I even know where to get stronger than 91%...


The alcohol penetrates into the interior of the microorganism easier when mixed with water.
Link Posted: 6/3/2008 8:00:13 PM EST
Has anyone heard of these? Are they effective?

Handheld UV Disinfector
Link Posted: 6/3/2008 8:03:43 PM EST
[Last Edit: 6/3/2008 8:04:04 PM EST by Keith_J]
Iodine and for the really tough stuff, bleach.

No bacteria can overcome that.
Link Posted: 6/3/2008 8:04:23 PM EST
There's some kind of gas that they saturate a room with that completely and totally(as in 100%) disinfects things. Anyone remember what it's called?
Link Posted: 6/3/2008 8:04:35 PM EST
The article is dead on.

Also, our use of antibiotics causes superbugs too.

Stay far away from antibiotics if you can help it. Disclaimer: I am not a doctor. I am not giving medical advice. Do you stop taking any medicine without talking to your doctor. Look both way before crossing the street. If you shake it more than twice, you're playing with it.
Link Posted: 6/3/2008 8:04:49 PM EST

Originally Posted By SuedeRoadster:
Has anyone heard of these? Are they effective?

Handheld UV Disinfector


UV can be used for disinfection, but typically the wavelengths & strengths can be injurious to eyes and skin. Most have interlocks so that the light is not operable unless shielded from direct view.

I would go with an alcohol wipe before any UV light. All of the methods trail behind good hand-washing.
Link Posted: 6/3/2008 8:04:51 PM EST

Originally Posted By Keith_J:
Iodine and for the really tough stuff, bleach.

No bacteria can overcome that.


And a little whiskey for grins.
Link Posted: 6/3/2008 8:05:16 PM EST
So...No more using them as babywipes for me?
Link Posted: 6/3/2008 8:06:10 PM EST
It's Formaldehyde Gas Disenfection.
Link Posted: 6/3/2008 8:06:42 PM EST

Originally Posted By Justa_TXguy:
The article is dead on.

Also, our use of antibiotics causes superbugs too.



Actually it's the misuse and overuse of antibiotics that gives rise to resistant strains.

Thank lawyers and the Chinese, the first demands overtreatment for everything and the latter uses human-only meds on livestock, killing usefullness in short order.

Link Posted: 6/3/2008 8:09:55 PM EST
height=8
Originally Posted By Merrell:
height=8
Originally Posted By SuedeRoadster:
Has anyone heard of these? Are they effective?

Handheld UV Disinfector


UV can be used for disinfection, but typically the wavelengths & strengths can be injurious to eyes and skin. Most have interlocks so that the light is not operable unless shielded from direct view.

I would go with an alcohol wipe before any UV light. All of the methods trail behind good hand-washing.


Sorry, I was actually thinking of surfaces: that remote in the hotel room, phones, keyboards..
Link Posted: 6/3/2008 8:11:02 PM EST

Originally Posted By AgentDavis:
There's some kind of gas that they saturate a room with that completely and totally(as in 100%) disinfects things. Anyone remember what it's called?


Ethylene Oxide. BAD JUJU.
Link Posted: 6/3/2008 8:16:15 PM EST

Originally Posted By SuedeRoadster:

Originally Posted By Merrell:

Originally Posted By SuedeRoadster:
Has anyone heard of these? Are they effective?

Handheld UV Disinfector


UV can be used for disinfection, but typically the wavelengths & strengths can be injurious to eyes and skin. Most have interlocks so that the light is not operable unless shielded from direct view.

I would go with an alcohol wipe before any UV light. All of the methods trail behind good hand-washing.


Sorry, I was actually thinking of surfaces: that remote in the hotel room, phones, keyboards..


Yes, what you are referring to are called fomites, inanimate objects which can retain organisms for later transfer. Anything breaking the chain (and handwashing is by far the most important) breaks the infection sequence.

I buy boxes of disinfectant wipes (100/$10) at the local Sam's Club and keep them in the car. I don't worry (much) about what I touch whilst shopping, though am careful not to touch eyes or mouth (that's where the bugs get in). Once back at the car, a disinfectant towel breaks most of the likely transmission routes.

btw, things like ATM's are the most contaminated (fecal matter is not uncommon - go figure ) other high-touch areas like escalator hand-railings and bathroom doors are bad (interestingly door handles are often worse than commode handles!)

Overall, infection control is dismal, and getting worse. Don't watch your food getting prepared.
Link Posted: 6/3/2008 8:16:30 PM EST
Heck, I'm almost 50 and I've never had a prescription in my life. I mean I could be allergic to pennicilin or opiates but I really don't know. I don't know what to say when asked about drug allergies... Our family doctor when I was a kid was pretty wise and believed unless someone was REALLY sick, it was better to let the immune system battle it out and maybe learn something. My coworkers get ABT's at the drop of a hat and seem to be sick all the time. All this stuff about antibacterial this and that. Sure, I get a cold once in awhile and the flu every 5 years or so but I think the craziness about bacteria is really backfiring on us.
Link Posted: 6/3/2008 8:16:58 PM EST
Antibacterial soap can lead to resistant bacteria as well, unfortunately with our OCD fear mongering media it's getting harder to find the straight stuff, sans triclosan or whatever.
Link Posted: 6/3/2008 8:21:33 PM EST

Originally Posted By IDK:
Heck, I'm almost 50 and I've never had a prescription in my life. I mean I could be allergic to pennicilin or opiates but I really don't know. I don't know what to say when asked about drug allergies... Our family doctor when I was a kid was pretty wise and believed unless someone was REALLY sick, it was better to let the immune system battle it out and maybe learn something. My coworkers get ABT's at the drop of a hat and seem to be sick all the time. All this stuff about antibacterial this and that. Sure, I get a cold once in awhile and the flu every 5 years or so but I think the craziness about bacteria is really backfiring on us.


You're letting your immune system work. You immune system is so much stornger than any pill bottle.

Unless you are in danger of death or permanent injury, I think taking antibiotics is idiotic. Many here have called me a Luddite or worse because of that opinion though.
Link Posted: 6/3/2008 8:26:28 PM EST

Originally Posted By Justa_TXguy:

Originally Posted By IDK:
Heck, I'm almost 50 and I've never had a prescription in my life. I mean I could be allergic to pennicilin or opiates but I really don't know. I don't know what to say when asked about drug allergies... Our family doctor when I was a kid was pretty wise and believed unless someone was REALLY sick, it was better to let the immune system battle it out and maybe learn something. My coworkers get ABT's at the drop of a hat and seem to be sick all the time. All this stuff about antibacterial this and that. Sure, I get a cold once in awhile and the flu every 5 years or so but I think the craziness about bacteria is really backfiring on us.


You're letting your immune system work. You immune system is so much stornger than any pill bottle.

Unless you are in danger of death or permanent injury, I think taking antibiotics is idiotic. Many here have called me a Luddite or worse because of that opinion though.


Abx are not idiotic, but they need to be applied intelligently (meaning you need to have a good idea of what type bacteria you are fighting)

Some things are recognized immediately by the body as invaders while others take time for the body to mount a response. Knowing which is one of the things that Docs know and why their counsel can be life-saving.
Link Posted: 6/3/2008 8:33:39 PM EST
[Last Edit: 6/3/2008 8:34:16 PM EST by Skibane]
Recent article in Machine Design magazine described bacteria cultures taken on the door handles in a hospital in which half of the stainless steel handles were replaced with brass or copper equivalents. Results showed that bacteria tends to die off quickly on copper-containing surfaces; not so much on stainless...
Link Posted: 6/3/2008 8:39:58 PM EST

Originally Posted By Skibane:
Recent article in Machine Design magazine described bacteria cultures taken on the door handles in a hospital in which half of the stainless steel handles were replaced with brass or copper equivalents. Results showed that bacteria tends to die off quickly on copper-containing surfaces; not so much on stainless...


This makes sense as stainless formulations are tailored to be as inert as possible (hence stain-less)

Problems can arise with other things though (will oxides / tarnish diminish the beneficial reactivity of the material) and will undesirable reactions occur with commonly encountered fluids (bodily / cleaning / etc)
Link Posted: 6/3/2008 8:44:33 PM EST
[Last Edit: 6/3/2008 8:45:01 PM EST by TheGrayMan]

Originally Posted By Justa_TXguy:

Originally Posted By IDK:
Heck, I'm almost 50 and I've never had a prescription in my life. I mean I could be allergic to pennicilin or opiates but I really don't know. I don't know what to say when asked about drug allergies... Our family doctor when I was a kid was pretty wise and believed unless someone was REALLY sick, it was better to let the immune system battle it out and maybe learn something. My coworkers get ABT's at the drop of a hat and seem to be sick all the time. All this stuff about antibacterial this and that. Sure, I get a cold once in awhile and the flu every 5 years or so but I think the craziness about bacteria is really backfiring on us.


You're letting your immune system work. You immune system is so much stornger than any pill bottle.

Unless you are in danger of death or permanent injury, I think taking antibiotics is idiotic. Many here have called me a Luddite or worse because of that opinion though.


I see nothing wrong with your statement.

I don't take them unless I need them either. Unfortunately, I get exposed to some nasty stuff in the ER, including some really dangerous bugs (Things like Neisseria meningitidis, TB, Pertussis, etc).

For that? Yeah... I'll take some antibiotics for a few days... it's worth it to ensure I don't take home a lethal case of Meningitis to my family
Link Posted: 6/3/2008 8:49:02 PM EST

Originally Posted By Merrell:

Originally Posted By Justa_TXguy:

Originally Posted By IDK:
Heck, I'm almost 50 and I've never had a prescription in my life. I mean I could be allergic to pennicilin or opiates but I really don't know. I don't know what to say when asked about drug allergies... Our family doctor when I was a kid was pretty wise and believed unless someone was REALLY sick, it was better to let the immune system battle it out and maybe learn something. My coworkers get ABT's at the drop of a hat and seem to be sick all the time. All this stuff about antibacterial this and that. Sure, I get a cold once in awhile and the flu every 5 years or so but I think the craziness about bacteria is really backfiring on us.


You're letting your immune system work. You immune system is so much stornger than any pill bottle.

Unless you are in danger of death or permanent injury, I think taking antibiotics is idiotic. Many here have called me a Luddite or worse because of that opinion though.


Abx are not idiotic, but they need to be applied intelligently (meaning you need to have a good idea of what type bacteria you are fighting)

Some things are recognized immediately by the body as invaders while others take time for the body to mount a response. Knowing which is one of the things that Docs know and why their counsel can be life-saving.


I know a bit about the subject being pre-med as an undergrad. And if I had a burst appendix/peritonitis, some kind of blood poisoning or other obvious raging bacterial infection I would be the first to be screaming for the good stuff. But that kind of infection is rare, relatively. ABx's (the new abv?) are powerful and selective and need to be viewed that way. Anti-virals are hard core and not for everyone. And daily exposure to background levels of bacteria, from staph and strep to e-coli in low levels probably keeps the immune system up to date on what sorts of new fun bugs are out there since bacteria constantly mutate and exchange plasmid DNA. Hardly scientific I know but tend to be born out practically with people who live in third world countries who are "used" to the local water, bugs, etc. Exceptions being virus's and parasites, which one can either respectively become immune to to adapt to (sickle cell being an example of adaption to malaria).

Remember, when I grew up in the 60's there were only a handful of antibiotics; synthetics hadn't entered the supply chain yet. Responsible doctors knew that the few they had available had to be held in reserve so they would work when they really needed them. All these idiot doctors who prescribe them for viral infections with no secondary bact-t infection... For COLDS fer chrissake...
Link Posted: 6/3/2008 8:51:33 PM EST
[Last Edit: 6/3/2008 8:56:45 PM EST by mattja]

Originally Posted By AgentDavis:
There's some kind of gas that they saturate a room with that completely and totally(as in 100%) disinfects things. Anyone remember what it's called?


Give me a can of beans and in a couple of hours I can do it.

I keep a bottle of Purell at my desk at work, and after a bathroom break (including washing my hands with the anti-bacterial soap in the john), I always rewash at my desk with the Purell.

That will hopefully spare me from the diseases the Indian engineers spread when they take a crap and don't wash their hands at all.
Link Posted: 6/3/2008 9:00:14 PM EST

Originally Posted By mattja:

Originally Posted By AgentDavis:
There's some kind of gas that they saturate a room with that completely and totally(as in 100%) disinfects things. Anyone remember what it's called?


Give me a can of beans and in a couple of hours I can do it.

I keep a bottle of Purell at my desk at work, and after a bathroom break (including washing my hands with the anti-bacterial soap in the john), I always rewash at my desk with the Purell.

That will hopefully spare me from the diseases the Indian engineers spread when they take a crap and don't wash their hands at all.




Do they miss swimming in the Ganges or something? It's about the same difference...
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