A Study of Microbial Load on the Hands of Nursing Staff in Tertiary Care Hospital
Keywords:Dominant hands, Hospital-acquired infections, Multidrug resistant organisms, Nursing staff, Resident microbial flora
Background: Infections due to hospital-acquired microbes is an evolving problem worldwide. Prevalence as high as 19%, of these infections in developing countries poses a challenge to health-care providers. A major source of horizontal transmission of the nosocomial infections are thought to be bacterial contamination of palm of hand of health care providers such as doctors and nurses. Hand hygiene is the single most cost effective preventive measure against hospital acquired infections and education is an important tool to ensure its implementation. Aim: The present study was undertaken, to demonstrate the presence of resident microbial flora on the hands of nursing staff after duty hours working at various critical areas in a tertiary care hospital with their antibiogram. Materials and Methods: This cross-sectional analytical study was carried out after ethical clearance from June to August 2020 on 100 nursing staff of either sex working in critical areas of tertiary care hospital after due informed consent from the nurses. A sterile swab moistened with sterile normal saline was used to collect the swabs from dominant (working) hands after working hours. The collected swabs were processed for isolation, identification, and antibiotic sensitivity of organisms. Results: Out of 100 swabs collected from the dominant hands of nurses working in critical areas, 83 showed the growth. All the samples cultured shows growth of more than two organisms. The major Gram-positive pathogenic organisms grown were Coagulase negative Staphylococcus spp. Forty (48.19%) followed by Staphylococcus aureus 30 (36.14%) whereas among Gram-negative Klebsiella spp. five (6.025%) and Pseudomonas aeruginosa four (4.81%) predominated. Conclusions: In the present study, the level of contamination of nursing staff was found to be high. Resident flora consisting of multi drug resistant pathogenic organisms can be greatly reduced by an increase in hand-hygiene awareness coupled with organizational interventions. We recommend to closely monitoring hand hygiene practices for effective intervention strategies.
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