Home>HOSPITAL HYGIENE>Cleaning Management systems>Over half fear hospital superbugs

Over half fear hospital superbugs

07 March 2013

A new survey has revealed that almost 50 per cent of those questioned will refuse to go to hospital for treatment because they're worried about contracting infection

A new survey has revealed that almost 50 per cent of those questioned will refuse to go to hospital for treatment because they're worried about contracting infection

As the NHS gears itself up for a possible outbreak of the new superbug NDM-1, a new independent survey has revealed that nearly 50 per cent of people questioned would refuse to go into hospital in case they contracted a superbug infection.

resourceTM, the UK and Ireland supplier of support and business critical services which commissioned the research, said that the results demonstrated that the fear of catching such a superbug would mean fewer people being prepared to take the risk of going into hospital for treatment.

Nearly 70 per cent of the 1,000 questioned said they were worried about themselves or a relative going into hospital and contracting a superbug infection. Nearly 50 per cent said this fear would prevent them from going to hospital and 47 per cent said either they, or someone they knew, had contracted a superbug infection after receiving care at a hospital.

The survey results have been released at a time when Infection Control experts are warning that the best estimate of treating healthcare-acquired infections (HAIs) is at least £1billion.

Patients with a healthcare-acquired infection, compared to uninfected patients, on average: Stayed in hospital 11 days longer Incurred 2.9 greater hospital costs Incurred 3.2 greater post-discharge costs A Department of Health spokeswoman, referring to the outbreak of NDM-1, said:"Hospitals need to ensure they provide good infection control to prevent any spread." This is particularly pertinent advice when it comes to NDM-1,as it is an enzyme produced by certain bacteria,which allows them to neutralise the harmful effects of carbapenems,one of the most powerful types of antibiotics available to doctors.

resource TM has developed a strategy for the control of an infection outbreak that it says is crucial to preventing the type of situation that arose in 2006 in Stoke Mandeville hospital where 33 patients died, and where Infection Prevention and Control and cleaning were significant factors in the outbreak.

Brian Lee, Healthcare-Acquired Infection Specialist with resourceTM explained the key elements of the resourceTM strategy: "These include dividing the hospital into zones, allocating cleaning operatives into specific areas and creating dedicated discharge teams to provide rapid response deep cleaning and decontamination for patient bays, where environmental cleanliness is key.

"The latest research provides strong evidence that healthcareacquired infections such as MRSA - and, very likely, NDM-1 - are transmitted indirectly through contact with environmental surfaces.

Room Bio-Decontaminisation, for example, provides a solution in the eradication of unwanted micro-organisms such as bacteria, bacteria spores, viruses and fungi,"he added.

"We also use infection resistant materials and equipment to combat the spread of these infections, as well as important protocols such as isolation room cleaning, risk level area cleaning, discharge team procedures and operating theatre cleaning procedures." These procedures also reduce costs. A report by Cambridge University Hospitals reported that "C.difficile diarrhoea can delay a patient's discharge from hospital by up to three weeks"but, said Brian Lee,"by pairing the basics of infection prevention such as hand washing with specialist environmental cleaning, it is possible to contain such outbreaks."