1 in 4 pensioners have superbugs on hands after a hospital stay

WashStand mobile hand wash basins

Patient hand washing is crucial in care homes

The importance of effective hand washing is again to the fore – particularly with regard to older patients – according to a recent report on the Medical Press website.

The article refers to “stowaways” on the hands of senior citizens as they leave hospital – superbugs – and cites that hand washing for all patients is vitally important in order to curtail the spread of the bugs.

The Medical Press refers to a JAMA Internal Medicine research letter, which reveals findings by University of Michigan researchers. The study concentrated on older patients who, having been to hospital for a medical or surgical intervention, then needed additional medical care in a rehabilitation facility before returning home or to a care home.

Of 357 patients studied, just under a quarter had at least one multidrug-resistant organism (MDRO) – the superbug referred to previously – on their hands when they checked in to a post-acute care facility. Worryingly, says the article, the situation didn’t stabilise with the passing of time – it got worse.

“During the follow-up visits, they found not only did these organisms persist, but even more seniors acquired superbugs on their hands – up from one in four (24.1 percent) to more than one in three (34.2 percent).”

Hand washing not only applies to staff

The article quotes Lona Mody, M.D., the associate chief for clinical and translational research at the University of Michigan Geriatrics Center and a research scientist at the Ann Arbor VA Geriatrics Research Education and Clinical Center.

“We’ve been educating healthcare workers for decades about hand hygiene, and these numbers show it’s time to include patients in their own hand hygiene performance and education.” 

The prefect mobile hand washing facility for care homes

The TEAL WashStand portable hot water hand wash unit has been designed specifically to meet the requirements of the home care situation. Hand hygiene can me provided quickly and easily with a minimum of fuss, thanks to the easy to use and easy to move nature of WashStand portable sinks.

Featuring low friction wheels and convenient handle, it can quickly and easily be guided straight to where a hot water hand wash is needed – wherever the bed bound or incapacitated patient may be.