Antibacterial Scrubs for Nurses No Match for Germs

Antibacterial Scrubs for Nurses No Match for Germs

Special antibacterial scrubs for nurses don't fend off germs any better than traditional nursing garb, a new study finds.

HealthDay News

MONDAY, Sept. 4, 2017 (HealthDay News)—Special antibacterial scrubs for nurses don't fend off germs any better than traditional nursing garb, a new study finds.

"Health care providers must understand that they can become contaminated by their patients and the environment near patients. Although not effective, we looked to eliminate this risk for contamination by changing the material of nurses' scrubs," said lead study author Dr. Deverick Anderson.

Anderson directs the Duke University Medical Center's Center for Antimicrobial Stewardship and Infection Prevention.

For the study, researchers tracked 40 nurses who wore three types of scrubs over three 12-hour shifts in which they monitored one or two patients each in medical or surgical intensive care units. The scrub types included: a traditional cotton-polyester blend; one treated with silver-alloy inside fibers; and one treated to kill bacteria.

The investigators monitored germs by taking cultures from the clothing worn by the nurses, and also from patients and the hospital environment around the nurses—including bed rails, beds and supply carts.

The findings showed that the scrubs were contaminated at the same level regardless of type, and that new contamination moved in during one-third of shifts. A germ known as Staphylococcus aureus was transmitted most often.

"There is no such thing as a sterile environment. Bacteria and pathogens will always be in the environment," Anderson said in a news release from the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America.

"Hospitals need to create and use protocols for improved cleaning of the health care environment, and patients and family members should feel empowered to ask health care providers if they are doing everything they can to keep their loved one from being exposed to bacteria in the environment," he added.

The researchers suggested that the scrubs may have failed to keep germs at bay because their antibacterial properties weren't strong enough to combat persistent exposure to germs over short periods of time.

The study was published online Aug. 29 in the journal Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology. Funding was provided by the U.S. National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

SOURCE: Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America, news release, Aug. 29, 2017

Copyright © 2017 HealthDay. All rights reserved.


A Call to Action for Women in Chronic Pain

Monica Mallampalli, PhD shares some unsettling data about chronic pain—across sex, gender and race—and offers measures for moving women's health care forward. In the year 2020, these barriers must come down.

Created With Support

Coronavirus Tests The Value Of Artificial Intelligence In Medicine

The machine-learning programs scroll through millions of pieces of data to detect patterns that may be hard for clinicians to discern.

Your Health

Nurses on the Front Lines: A History of Heroism From Florence Nightingale to Coronavirus

May 12 is International Nurses Day, which commemorates the birthday of Florence Nightingale, the first "professional nurse."

Your Health

by eMediHealth

☆☆☆☆☆ By eMediHealth ☆☆☆☆☆