Research Output

Is there an association between airborne and surface microbes in the critical care environment?

  Background
There are few data and no accepted standards for air quality in the intensive care unit (ICU). Any relationship between airborne pathogens and hospital-acquired infection (HAI) risk in the ICU remains unknown.
Aim
First, to correlate environmental contamination of air and surfaces in the ICU; second, to examine any association between environmental contamination and ICU-acquired staphylococcal infection.
Methods
Patients, air, and surfaces were screened on 10 sampling days in a mechanically ventilated 10-bed ICU for a 10-month period. Near-patient hand-touch sites (N = 500) and air (N = 80) were screened for total colony count and Staphylococcus aureus. Air counts were compared with surface counts according to proposed standards for air and surface bioburden. Patients were monitored for ICU-acquired staphylococcal infection throughout.
Findings
Overall, 235 of 500 (47%) surfaces failed the standard for aerobic counts (≤2.5 cfu/cm2). Half of passive air samples (20/40: 50%) failed the ‘index of microbial air’ contamination (2 cfu/9 cm plate/h), and 15/40 (37.5%) active air samples failed the clean air standard (

  • Type:

    Article

  • Date:

    09 April 2018

  • Publication Status:

    Published

  • Publisher

    Elsevier BV

  • DOI:

    10.1016/j.jhin.2018.04.003

  • Cross Ref:

    S0195670118302159

  • ISSN:

    0195-6701

  • Library of Congress:

    RT Nursing

  • Dewey Decimal Classification:

    614 Incidence & prevention of disease

  • Funders:

    Edinburgh Napier Funded

Citation

Smith, J., Adams, C., King, M., Noakes, C., Robertson, C., & Dancer, S. (2018). Is there an association between airborne and surface microbes in the critical care environment?. Journal of Hospital Infection, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhin.2018.04.003

Authors

Keywords

Hospital-acquired infection, Hospital environment, Air, Bacterial transmission, Environmental contamination, Staphylococcus aureus, MRSA

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