Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is an infectious disease that hospital environmental services (EVS) and other hospital cleaning services must be familiar with to help prevent its spread.
Facts EVS for Hospitals Should Know About MRSA
MRSA is a bacteria that is resistant to several antibiotics. It is most often considered a healthcare-associated infection (HAI); HAIs affect one out of every 31 hospital patients. MRSA is most often contracted by direct contact with an infected wound, contaminated hands, or a contaminated surface. In hospitals, MRSA can cause severe problems such as bloodstream infections, pneumonia, surgical infections, sepsis, and death.
According to the CDC, about one in three people carry S. aureus bacteria in their nose, usually without any illness. Two in every 100 people carry MRSA, most of whom do not develop serious infections. People who have MRSA but have no visible sign of infection are still carriers, able to spread the bacteria to others. MRSA can survive on some surfaces for hours, days, weeks, and even, according to some research, up to six months if the surface is not washed or sterilized.
Steps to Lower MRSA Infections
Below are five actions EVS providers can take to prevent MRSA infections in healthcare settings.
- Wash hands. First and foremost in the fight against MRSA is hand washing. Contaminated hands, whether from touching an infected person, wound, or surface, are the top way the infection is spread.
- Wear proper protection. EVS for hospitals should always wear gloves and other PPE as warranted to protect themselves and patients from MRSA. It is equally essential to don and remove all PPE properly and to change it frequently, especially between patient room cleanings.
- Clean first. Surfaces must be disinfected to kill MRSA bacteria. Before the use of any disinfectant, surfaces should be wiped clean to prevent dirt and debris from shielding the MRSA bacteria, rendering disinfecting ineffective.
- Use the right disinfectant. The EPA’s List H provides disinfectants registered with the agency and proven effective against MRSA.
- Concentrate on high-touch surfaces. While total room cleaning is necessary after a patient is discharged, a recent study found that whole room cleaning reduced the spread of MRSA by 54%. The study found that to best fight MRSA, whole room cleaning should be supplemented by more frequent cleaning of high-touch surfaces because surfaces can be quickly re-contaminated when touched by a MRSA-infected person. The study also found that if cleaning occurs less frequently (less than three times a day), EVS for hospital workers should concentrate on high-touch surfaces. If cleaning is done more than three times a day, cleaning low-touch and high-touch surfaces is recommended based on the frequency of touching.
Hospital Environmental Services Near Me
If you are looking to lower your hospital’s MRSA and other HAI infection rates, find out more about Servicon’s EVS for hospital services.