Are Hospital Floors an Underappreciated Reservoir for Transmission of Clostridium difficile and Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus?
Methods: In 4 Cleveland area hospitals, we cultured 2 standardized 1 foot2 areas of the floor in Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) isolation rooms and in non-CDI rooms for C. difficile, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE). Occupied hospital rooms were surveyed to determine the frequency and identification of high-touch objects on floors. Cultures were collected from surfaces or objects that come in direct contact with floors (e.g., shoes, socks, wheelchair wheels) and the potential for transfer from these surfaces to hands was assessed.
Results: Of 120 floor sites, 86 (72%) were positive for C. difficile, 26 (22%) were positive for MRSA, and 32 (33%) were positive for VRE, with similar results for each of the hospitals. C. difficile was recovered more frequently from non-CDI than from CDI rooms (64% vs 43%; P=.003). Occupied rooms had an average of 1.4 high-touch objects in contact with the floor. Of 24 sampled objects in contact with floors, 14 (24%) were contaminated with one or more of the pathogens. Of the 14 contaminated objects on floors, 8 (57%) transferred pathogens to hands.
Conclusion: Our results demonstrate that hospital floors are frequently contaminated with pathogens and often contacted by high-touch objects. Hospital floors could be an underappreciated reservoir for transmission of healthcare-associated pathogens.
D. Fertelli, None
B. Sitzlar, None
P. Thota, None
T. Mana, None
A. Jencson, None
E. Pozwick, None
H. Doehring, None
J. Seikali, None
C. J. Donskey, None
See more of: Poster Abstract Session