Wash Your Hands – Part 9
One of the most feared hospital infections is Acinetobacter. This is a group of Gram-negative bacteria that is commonly found in soil and water. It can also be found on the skin of healthy people, especially healthcare workers.While there are many species of Acinetobacter and all can cause human disease, infections are fortunately relatively uncommon.
Acinetobacter baumannii is a waterborne organism that is sensitive to few antibiotics. This multiresistant pathogen is often cultured from patient sputum, respiratory secretions, wounds, and urine. It has also been found in irrigating solutions.
Outbreaks of A baumannii typically occur in ICUs and this organism can be spread by person-to-person contact, contact with contaminated surfaces, or environmental exposure. It can live on the skin and survive on environmental surfaces for several days.
Use of alcohol-based hand rub between and before patient and equipment contact has been shown to decrease transmission during outbreaks.
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