Targeted cleaning to tackle MRSA31st October 2007
An expert has said that "targeted cleaning" of particular objects will help to win the health service's fight against MRSA.
Microbiologist Dr Stephanie Dancer, from South General Hospital in Glasgow, said the Government's plan to perform a deep clean of hospitals in England would not have lasting effects.
"It is like using a sledgehammer to crack a nut. And anyway it will only have an impact in the first week and then hospitals will be dirty again," she said.
Dr Dancer said that hospital cleaners should clean those objects which patients, staff and visitors come into contact with most frequently.
In the study, published in Lancet Infectious Diseases, bed sheets and tables were discovered to be a more likely source of MRSA than floors.
Bed linen, patient gowns and overbed tables had the highest rates of contamination (all over 40%), while floors had rates of contamination of 34.5% and furniture of 27%.
Recent figures show there were over 6,000 new MRSA cases in the past year - a reduction on previous years. However this reduction will not be enough to reach the government's target of halving the MRSA rates recorded in 2004.
Dr Dancer commented that cleaners in hospitals usually targeted floors and dirty areas they could see. She argued that cleaning would work better if it focussed on areas which were touched by hands.
"Governments across the UK need to reconsider their approaches." she said.
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