Environmental Hygiene Article Collection
- Improperly cleaned, disinfected, or sterilized reusable medical devices are a critical cause of health care-associated infections. More effective studies are required to address the improvement of cleaning and disinfection instructions, as well as selection of cleaning and disinfecting agents, for surfaces of reusable devices and equipment.
- Evidence that contaminated surfaces contribute to the transmission of hospital pathogens comes from studies modeling transmission routes, microbiologic studies, observational epidemiologic studies, intervention studies, and outbreak reports. This review presents evidence that contaminated surfaces contribute to transmission and discusses the various strategies currently available to address environmental contamination in hospitals.
- Recent data demonstrate that the contaminated hospital surface environment plays a key role in the transmission of Clostridium difficile. Enhanced environmental cleaning of rooms housing Clostridium difficile-infected patients is warranted, and, if additional studies demonstrate a benefit of “no-touch” methods (eg, ultraviolet irradiation, hydrogen peroxide systems), their routine use should be considered.