Microbial Levels on the Hands of Theatre Staff in Three Johannesburg Hospitals

Microbial Levels on the Hands of Theatre Staff in Three Johannesburg Hospitals

Study team: HA Carman, B Binta, O Matuka,  A Fourie, Z Kirsten, AZ Mayekiso, T Singh

NIOH, University of Witwatersrand, Sessional Dermatologist

Background: Hand hygiene is a fundamental component of infection control in reducing microbial levels on the hands of health care workers ( HCWs). Excessive hand washing damages the skin barrier resulting in changes to the composition of microflora on the hands. Hand contamination with Staphylococcus aureus (S.aureus) and Escherichia coli (E.coli) may contribute to infections.  The study aimed to assess the effectiveness of different hand washing methods on reducing levels of bacterial flora, especially S. aureus and Escherichia coli(E.coli)  on the hands of theatre workers. It also sought to determine the relation between skin irritation and higher bacterial loads.

Method: A cross sectional study was conducted among 70 theatre staff in surgical theatres of three Johannesburg hospitals chosen randomly. Samples were taken before and after hand washing using the modified glove juice method and the finger nail press technique. Standard microbiological techniques were applied to identify bacteria.

Progress: Study is completed

Outputs:

‒DO Matuka,  B Binta , H A Carman, T Singh. 2018. Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli levels on the hands of theatre staff in three Johannesburg hospitals before and after handwashing. (Accepted), SAMJ

‒H Carman, B Binta, BV Girdler-Brown, O Matuka, A Fourie, C Nattey, T Singh. Staphylococcus aureus levels on the hands of theatre staff in three Johannesburg hospitals before and after handwashing. Dermatology conference, 2016