Med­i­cal gowns, gloves of­ten source of con­tam­i­na­tion –study

Daily Trust - - HEALTH -

Health care work­ers of­ten con­tam­i­nate their skin and cloth­ing when they re­move their med­i­cal gowns and gloves, new re­search sug­gests.

For the study, work­ers at four Ohio hos­pi­tals sim­u­lated gown and glove re­moval. Ad­di­tional health care work­ers from a sep­a­rate fa­cil­ity par­tic­i­pated in a pro­gram that in­cluded ed­u­ca­tion and prac­tice of re­mov­ing con­tam­i­nated gowns and gloves.

The health care work­ers sim­u­lated 435 gown and glove re­movals. The re­searchers used a flu­o­res­cent lo­tion to de­ter­mine "con­tam­i­na­tion." Skin or cloth­ing got con­tam­i­nated 46 per­cent of the time, the in­ves­ti­ga­tors found.

But, the ed­u­ca­tion and prac­tice pro­gram led to a sig­nif­i­cant drop in the con­tam­i­na­tion rate -- from 60 per­cent to about 19 per­cent, the find­ings showed.

This im­prove­ment lasted even when health care work­ers were retested af­ter one and three months, Dr. Curtis Donskey, of the Cleve­land Vet­er­ans Af­fairs Med­i­cal Cen­ter, and col­leagues re­ported in the study pub­lished in the Oct. 12 is­sue of JAMA In­ter­nal Medicine.

The study find­ings high­light the ur­gent need to come up with ways to re­duce the risk of con­tam­i­na­tion, Donskey said in a jour­nal news re­lease.

It’s also im­por­tant to fig­ure out bet­ter ways to train peo­ple in how to best re­move these items, Donskey’s team said. And, ideally, the de­sign of pro­tec­tive cloth­ing should be im­proved to re­duce the risk of con­tam­i­na­tion, the study au­thors sug­gested.

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