Wash Basins - Used for Cleaning - May Be Harborers of MDROs
A recent AJIC article
demonstrated hospital wash basins are frequently contaminated with pathogens including drug resistant organisms like MRSA and VRE.
The same journal carries an advertisement that quoted studies where CAUTI rates were reduced when basins were eliminated from 2 med/surg units.
The authors collected more than 1,000 wash basins from 88 hospitals in the U.S. and Canada--so it seems to be consistent across the country. More than 60% of the basins had a pathogen on them and all the hospitals had at least 1 basin with disease causing organisms on it. The basins can become contaminated during bathing, during cleaning up incontinence or during urinary catheter care. The soap and tap water can also be culprits. And many nurses store supplies in the basins when they're not in use. The authors even point out that many hospitals have a daily linen change policy but many patients keep their potentially contaminated basins throughout their stay.
So how can this time-honored ritual put patients at risk - we have to think the basins serve as a foci of infection. So what's the answer--do we stop bathing patients?
How are you handling the bed bath, basins and cleaning patients at your facility?