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Attempts to Control Clothes-Borne Infection in a Burn Unit, 2. Clothing Routines in Clinical Use and the Epidemiology of Cross-Colonization

Ulrika RansjÖ
The Journal of Hygiene
Vol. 82, No. 3 (Jun., 1979), pp. 369-384
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3862285
Page Count: 17
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Attempts to Control Clothes-Borne Infection in a Burn Unit, 2. Clothing Routines in Clinical Use and the Epidemiology of Cross-Colonization
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Abstract

Previous investigations have shown that cross-contamination in a burn unit is mainly clothes-borne. New barrier garments have been designed and tried experimentally. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of different clothing routines on cross-contamination. In a long-term study, the rates and routes of colonizations with Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus groups A, B, C, F, and G and Pseudomonas aeruginosa were examined. The exogenous colonization rates were, with S. aureus 77%, with Streptococcus species 52% and with Ps. aeruginosa 32%. The colonization rate with Ps. aeruginosa was higher in patients with larger burns. Patients dispersed Streptococcus and Ps. aeruginosa as well as S. aureus into the air of their rooms in considerable amounts, but dispersers were not more important as sources of cross-colonization than non-dispersers. In comparison of clothing routines, there was no difference in overall colonization rates. The newly designed barrier garment that was made from apparently particle-tight material did not reduce the transfer of bacteria from patient to patient. A less rigid routine than that previously used did not increase the risk of cross-contamination. A thorough change of barrier dress after close contact nursing delayed the first exogenous S. aureus colonization from day 6 to day 14 after admission. This routine might be recommended for clinical use. Otherwise, methods must be developed for adequate selection of materials intended for barrier garments.

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