I would love to hear what others have to say about this – especially health and medical bloggers. Does the article seem accurate to you? Reasonable? Overreactive?
Personally I found it alarming, but I’m a scientist and I don’t work in medicine so maybe I just don’t understand the situation well enough. Please enlighten me.
Here are a few quotes from the article:
“The Joint Commission, which inspects and accredits U.S. hospitals, doesn’t measure cleanliness. Neither do most state health departments, nor the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”
“Sad to say, cleanliness is not a priority for hospital administrators or most medical professionals. “
“A new University of Maryland study shows that 65 percent of physicians and other medical professionals admitted they hadn’t washed their lab coat in at least a week, even though they knew it was dirty. Nearly 16 percent said they hadn’t put on a clean lab coat in at least a month.”
“In a recent Johns Hopkins Hospital study, 26 percent of supply cabinets were contaminated with a dangerous bacterium, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and 21 percent with another stubborn germ, vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE).”
“Stethoscopes, blood pressure cuffs, and EKG wires are used on successive patients without being cleaned. Studies published as long ago as 1978 warn that blood pressure cuffs frequently carry live bacteria, including MRSA, and are a source of infection. In a newly released British report, one third of blood pressure cuffs were found to be contaminated with Clostridium difficile, a germ that can cause lethal diarrhea if it enters via the mouth. “
“Hospitals once tested surfaces for bacteria, but in 1970, the CDC and the American Hospital Association advised them to stop, saying testing was unnecessary and not cost effective.”
“Asked whether bacterial levels should be measured, Wise [Robert Wise, Joint Commission] answers: “You can only ask hospitals to do so much.”
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