Study shows contaminated hospital floors can spread infection

Study: Dirty hospital floors can help spread infection

KUSA - A new study suggests dirty hospital floors can spread a bacteria that causes severe diarrhea and other infections.

The Ohio-based study was completed at the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland. 

For the study, researchers looked at five hospitals in the Cleveland area.

They cultured and examined 318 samples from 159 patient rooms.

The results shows the floors were often contaminated with MRSA and Clostridium difficile, a bacteria that causes severe diarrhea.

9NEWS spoke with Dr. Maurice Scott, a clinical instructor at UC Health, about the study results.

Dr. Scott says hospitals have strict guidelines in cleaning what are considered "high-touch" surfaces within a hospital.

"Generally, hospitals focus on making sure areas they consider 'high-touch' areas are very clean - doors knobs, sinks, bed rails, those kind of things, chairs even," Dr. Scott said. "Areas in the room you're going to be touching frequently."

The floor isn't considered a high touch area.

"They don't focus so much on the floors where there can be a lot of bacteria,"  Scott said. "You say 'well you don't touch the floor,' but your bag may touch the floor and then you touch your bag, your shoes touch the floor and then you're tying your shoes, and those can in advertently and unintentionally be transferred to your hand and cause more infection."

Dr. Scott believes the results of this study will lead to changes within U.S. hospitals.

"I think that this is going to prompt the hospital staff, and the hospital in general, to better clean the floors, but also how to prevent infections moving forward," he said.

And of course, the best thing patients and staff can do is always wash their hands.

© 2017 KUSA-TV


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