Do healthcare providers' hands carry multidrug-resistant organisms? 4 study insights

Research published in the American Journal of Infection Control examined how healthcare employees' hands can transmit multidrug-resistant organisms.

Researchers examined 59 studies of microbiologic culture after healthcare personnel hand sampling, including multidrug-resistant bacteria Staphylococcus aureus, vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus, Clostridium difficile, Acinetobacter baumannii and Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

The key details to know:

1. MRSA, P. aeruginosa, A. baumannii and vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus prevalence were 4.26 percent, 4.59 percent, 6.18 percent and 9.03 percent, respectively

2. Four of the studies sampled for C. difficile, with two finding no growth.

3. Subgroup analysis of MRSA showed the highest hand contamination rates in North America.

4. Researchers concluded, "Prevalence of common [multidrug-resistant organisms] on [healthcare personnel] hands vary by pathogen, care setting, culture acquisition method, study design and geography. When obtained at an institutional level, these prevalence data can be utilized to enhance knowledge, practice and research to prevent healthcare-associated infections."

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