Hospital privacy curtains are breeding grounds for deadly super bacteria such as MRSA
- Experts from the University of Michigan studied curtains in 625 specialized departments
- About one in five of them – 22% – housed MRSA or other deadly bacteria
- The findings are important because privacy curtains are used all over the world
Hospital privacy curtains are a breeding ground for potentially deadly super bacteria.
The curtains, which are often touched by patients, appear to contain dangerous MRSA.
They are also a source of bacteria called vancomycin-resistant enterococci or VRE, which can cause blood and urinary tract infections.
Privacy curtains are often infected with multi-resistant organisms (MDROs) that can spread to patients, the researchers warn (stock)
WHAT IS ANTIBIOTIC RESISTANCE?
Antibiotics have been unnecessarily decked out by doctors and hospital staff for decades, so that once harmless bacteria are moved into super bacteria.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has previously warned that if nothing is done, the world is moving towards a & # 39; post-antibiotic & # 39; era.
It claimed that common infections, such as chlamydia, will become murderers without immediate solutions to the growing crisis.
Bacteria can become resistant to medication if people use incorrect doses of antibiotics or if they are administered unnecessarily.
Chief medical officer Dame Sally Davies claimed in 2016 that the threat of antibiotic resistance is just as serious as terrorism.
Figures estimate that superugs will kill 10 million people every year, with patients succumbing to once harmless bugs.
Around 700,000 people die every year from drug-resistant infections, including tuberculosis (TB), HIV and malaria around the world.
There have been repeated concerns that medicine will be reduced to the & # 39; dark ages & # 39; if antibiotics no longer work in the coming years.
In addition to the fact that existing medicines are becoming less effective, only one or two new antibiotics have been developed in the last 30 years.
In September, the WHO warned that antibiotics are running out & # 39 ;, because a report has a & # 39; serious deficiency & # 39; found new drugs in the development pipeline.
Without antibiotics, C-coupes, cancer treatments and hip prostheses become incredibly risky & # 39 ;, it was said at the time.
Researchers led by the University of Michigan wiped the edges of the curtains and divided the hospital beds where they were most touched.
If we look at more than 1,500 examples of the privacy curtains, they found that more than one in five contained drug-resistant bugs.
The researchers, led by Kristen Gibson from the Department of Internal Medicine at the University of Michigan, said: & we were surprised to see that multi-drug-resistant organisms, especially VRE, shed by patients routinely contaminate their privacy curtains .
& # 39; These pathogens on privacy curtains often survive and have the potential to transfer to other surfaces and patients. Since privacy curtains are used all over the world, it is a global problem. & # 39;
The results show that six percent of privacy curtains contain MRSA, a superug killer that cannot be treated with standard antibiotics.
Another nine percent contained VRE, which, like the other insects, was also found on cotton buds taken from patients' bodies.
Researchers, who presented their findings at the European Congress of Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases in Amsterdam (SUBS – PLS KEEP), found no difference in curtain contamination between private and shared rooms.
They stated: & # 39; Further research is needed to conclusively determine whether contaminated privacy curtains are a source of multi-drug-resistant transfer of organisms to patients. & # 39;
A Canadian study last year found that nearly 90 percent of privacy curtains were infected with MRSA within two years of assembly.
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