In hospitals, patients are usually too busy trying to get well, and doctors and caregivers are always engrossed in the welfare of their patients. Hardly will you find anyone free enough to take note of a very important, but never-noticed part of the hospital premises – its floors.
While you may never have thought of it, hospital floors are a breeding ground for bacteria of all kinds. A series of studies have revealed the potency of these bacteria to cause infections. And even when you do not make contact with hospital floors, touching the fixtures and items that are close to the floor is enough to spread these bacteria.
You cannot help but use the hospital floor whenever you find yourself on one, but you can significantly prevent the spread of these bacteria. Reduce your contact with your shoes, hospital bedrails, and wheelchair base. Also, avoid making contact with elevator buttons, armrests, and wall sockets as much as possible.
What Kind of Bacteria Are We Talking Of?
After culturing 120 different floor areas within four hospitals in Cleveland, researchers from the American Journal of Infection Control had some fascinating findings:
- C. difficile – Clostridium difficile was confirmed on 72% of the floors
- Human hands contacted pathogenic organisms from 57% of items touching the floor
- VRE – Vancomycin-resistant enterococci was confirmed on 33% of the areas
- More than one bacterium was found on 24% of high-touch surfaces
- MRSA – Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus was confirmed on 22% of the locations
- The percentage of high-touch items touching the floor was 1.4%
How Can These Pathogens Make You Sick?
C. difficile, being the most commonly found bacteria on hospital floors, is the culprit for diarrhea and severe stomach pain.
VRE is known to infect wounds, and also cause UTIs – urinary tract infections. The scariest part is that this pathogen is highly resistant to the all-powerful antibiotic – vancomycin.
Similarly, MRSA is stubbornly resistant to most antibiotics. It can result in pneumonia alongside skin and bloodstream infections – as is common with staphylococcus infections.
Aren’t the Floors Cleaned?
Hospital floors cannot be left dirty and dusty. They are always cleaned. But if you mean cleaning out grime and dust with soap and, then that wouldn’t suffice for the bacteria mentioned above.
To effectively get rid of these pathogens, floors and high-touch items have to be continuously cleaned with powerful disinfectants. But then, there are also consequences to the continuous use of disinfectants. First, these disinfectants could be toxic to the health of cleaners and hospital workers, and pathogenic organisms can eventually develop resistance to them.
Research is currently ongoing for the impact of modern cleaning methods like steam cleaning, antimicrobial surfaces, and disinfection. But they undoubtedly reduce contamination of hospital floors and the spread of infectious diseases from them.
It is okay for you to be engrossed in your recovery or that of your family and friends. But whenever you find yourself in a hospital, the following precautions will help you minimize contact with and the spread of bacteria:
- Wash your hands with soap and water before and after seeing a patient. While you’re with any patient, minimize your contact with them, knowing that they are more vulnerable to infectious diseases.
- Stay away from high-touch items like doorknobs, elevator buttons, bed rails, and armrests.
Always dry your hands after washing them, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
How to Maintain clean Floors
Implementing some form of contamination control matting at the front door is the best way to prevent 99% of outside contaminants entering a building. Mats that contain Silver Biocide kill all gram negative & gram positive bacteria and C-19. Silver Biocide is a core constituent of CC Mattings polymer mats. Our polymer mats contain silver ions, which have naturally occurring antimicrobial properties. Silver has been used for hundreds of years to prevent the growth of bacteria.
As the silver biocide is added to CC Matting polymer mats during manufacture, it is not something that can diminish, for example if were applied as a coating instead and provides longer lasting effectiveness against microbial growth.
The silver ions within the biocide bind to the bacterial cell wall, and thus prevent growth by damaging it. The bacteria can no longer grow as their DNA has been damaged and they can no longer replicate. They can no longer produce energy either and therefore die.
Silver is inorganic and non-leaching which means, unlike organic antimicrobial technologies it stays within the item it is added to and provides effective and lasting antimicrobial protection without allowing bacteria to develop resistance.
Silver ion technology has been independently tested in over 2000 applications and has been proven to reduce the growth of over 50 harmful organisms by up to 99.9%.
If you’re interested in learning more about how you can protect your clean rooms and staff from potentially harmful contaminants.