Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Hospital Overcrowding Linked to MRSA

22.06.2006
Overcrowding in specialist hospitals across England could be responsible for increasing rates of MRSA infection, according to research from a University of Ulster team published today (Thursday) in the British Journal of Nursing.

The researchers found that three quarters of English hospitals exceed the recommended 82% bed occupancy rate – with a third of trusts having occupancy rates of 87% or greater. This could mean that there is too little time between one patient being discharged and another being admitted to properly disinfect the bed and surrounding area.

In a continuation of their research into the relationship between rates of MRSA infection and bed occupancy in Northern Ireland, first published in the prestigious Journal of Hospital Infection in November 2005, the researchers have now found that the same relationship may exist in specialist hospitals across England. High levels of occupancy are an indicator of overcrowding.

The original research found a relationship between high rates of bed occupancy and high levels of MRSA in Northern Ireland. In a study published in the British Journal of Nursing today the authors, nursing lecturer Brian Cunningham, Professor of Health Research, George Kernohan, and researcher Thomas Rush, report similar findings in England for 35 specialist hospitals, where data could be matched for all variables.

The House of Commons Public Accounts Committee and other governmental bodies have repeatedly drawn attention to the fact that high levels of bed occupancy is not consistent with good infection control and bed management practices. The researchers found that three-quarters of English hospitals exceed the recommended 82% bed occupancy with a third of Trusts having occupancy of 87% or even greater.

Based on their research from the Northern Ireland studies the researchers estimate that the turnover interval in some medical units could be similar to that in NI trusts, which was estimated at 72 minutes. During this period one patient is discharged, the bed space and bed itself are disinfected, and a new patient is admitted. The minimum time for cleaning the bed alone to an acceptable level could take as long as 75 minutes.

The authors said: “The Healthcare Commission's annual staff survey (2006) based on replies from 209,000 employees in 570 NHS trusts in England reported that one in four said trusts did not do enough to promote the importance of hand-cleaning to staff, patients and visitors and nearly 40% of NHS staff do not have constant access to the hot water, soap, paper towels and alcohol rubs needed to prevent the spread of hospital infection.

“Trusts which fail to give such attention to this basic preventative measures are also unlikely to comply with the high standards required to disinfect beds and bed spaces and, as we have suggested, the time available for cleaning because of short turnover interval and high occupancy rates may be insufficient to prepare for safe admissions of patients.”

The researchers commented on a recent statement by Dr Gill Morgan, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, who said: "More patients are being treated faster and more effectively than ever before by the NHS (...) The number of actual beds has steadily reduced, yet the amount of care the service is able to deliver has dramatically increased." She said also that the health service could do with fewer hospital beds.

Researcher Brian Cunningham said that such statements, usually made by managers and not by clinicians, showed a cultural clash between clinicians and managers. He said that there is a limit to how many patients can be treated safely in hospitals. High levels of occupancy result in limited time for hand-washing, ward cleaning between admission and discharge, overworked and stressed staff, and constant bed crises.

The authors concluded: “The rise in the incidence of MRSA rates may be a symptom of a systems failure in the central and local management of the NHS.”

David Young | alfa
Further information:
http://www.ulster.ac.uk

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Team discovers how bacteria exploit a chink in the body's armor
20.01.2017 | University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

nachricht Rabies viruses reveal wiring in transparent brains
19.01.2017 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Helmholtz International Fellow Award for Sarah Amalia Teichmann

20.01.2017 | Awards Funding

An innovative high-performance material: biofibers made from green lacewing silk

20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Ion treatments for cardiac arrhythmia — Non-invasive alternative to catheter-based surgery

20.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>