Hospitals spread dangerous superbugs by using detergent wet wipes, say researchers at Wales' Cardiff University. Researchers tested the effectiveness of seven detergent wipes on three common hospital infections — MRSA, Clostridium difficile (C. difficile), and Acinetobacter.
The wet wipes are used to clean surfaces in hospitals, but the researchers found that wipes actually spread the potentially deadly bacteria from one surface to another.
Researchers used a 10-second wiping procedure to test a wipe's ability to remove bacteria from hospital surfaces. While some wipes performed better than others at removing bacteria from single surfaces, all transferred significant amounts of bacteria when the same wipe was used to clean multiple surfaces.
"Wet wipes are generally good products, but the efficacy of these products can be improved," study author Jean-Yves Maillard told the BBC. "Hospital staff must be educated to ensure these products are used properly and will not cause an unnecessary risk to staff and patients — a single wipe should not be used on multiple surfaces."
Dr. Maillard and Cardiff University has teamed with GAMA Healthcare, one of the largest makers of antibacterial wipes in the world, to create more effective wipes to tackle superbugs.
The study was published in the American Journal of Infection Control.
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