“Does it really matter in infection control?” was the question posed by Prof. Wilcox to the audience of the 11th Healthcare Infection Society International Conference concerning the correct hand drying method.
HIS 2018 in Liverpool at the Arena and Convention Centre (ACC) offered an interesting three day programme focused on healthcare associated infections, environmental contaminations and hygiene control and has been attended by approximately 800 infection prevention and control practitioners from around the world, including high profile physicians involved in combating infectious diseases.
ETS was present with a booth at Stand 40 in the BT Convention Centre, where attendees were welcomed.
ETS also hosted a Symposium slot in Room A from 17.00 – 18.00hrs on Tuesday 27 November featuring Professor Mark Wilcox, Professor of Medical Microbiology, University of Leeds, Consultant/Head of Microbiology Research & Development, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust.
Prof. Wilcox shared with the audience the results of his latest study measuring the prevalence of environmental contamination – including by antibiotic resistant bacteria – in toilets according to hand-drying method.
The multi-site study*, designed by Professor Wilcox and his team and carried out at hospitals in France, Italy and the UK, found that options for hand-drying in public toilets are associated with clearly differing potential for environmental bacterial contamination.
Higher levels of contamination were found in toilets using jet air dryers compared with those using paper towels, with multiple examples of significant differences in the extent of surface bacterial contamination, including by faecal associated (enterococci and enterobacteria) and antibiotic resistant bacteria (MRSA and ESBL-producing bacteria).
The findings have significant implications for hygiene in hospital toilets frequented by staff, patients and the general public and suggest that jet air dryers may not be suitable for such settings where the risk of microbial cross-contamination is high.
ETS is the European Tissue Paper Industry Association. The members of ETS represent the majority of tissue paper producers throughout Europe and around 90% of the total European tissue production. ETS was founded in 1971 and is based in Brussels. For more information: www.europeantissue.com.
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