Removal of sinks and introduction of ‘water-free’ patient care

Sinks in patient rooms are associated with hospital-acquired infections | Antimicrobial Resistance & Infection Control


Background: The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of removal of sinks from the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) patient rooms and the introduction of ‘water-free’ patient care on gram-negative bacilli colonization rates.

Conclusions: Removal of sinks from patient rooms and introduction of a method of ‘water-free’ patient care is associated with a significant reduction of patient colonization with GNB, especially in patients with a longer ICU length of stay.

Full reference: Hopman, J. et al. (2017) Reduced rate of intensive care unit acquired gram-negative bacilli after removal of sinks and introduction of ‘water-free’ patient care. Antimicrobial Resistance & Infection Control. 6:59


Acquisition of bacteria on health care workers’ hands after contact with patient privacy curtains

Larocque, M. American Journal of Infection Control. Published online: 4 July 2016


Single Sex Accommodation

  • Health care workers’ hands were imprinted before and after touching privacy curtains.
  • Half of all participants grew bacteria on their hands after touching curtains.
  • All curtain-acquired organisms were skin or oral commensal flora.
  • Hand hygiene after touching curtains is important in preventing nosocomial infection.

To determine whether pathogenic bacteria could be transferred to health care workers by touching privacy curtains, imprints of health care workers’ fingertips were obtained when participants were approached, after hand hygiene with alcohol handrub, and directly after handling curtains. Participants’ hands were heavily contaminated at baseline, in some cases with potentially pathogenic species. Half of the participants (n = 30) acquired bacteria on their fingertips from handling curtains, illustrating that privacy curtains may be involved in the transmission of infection to emergency department patients.

Read the abstract here