HealthDay News — Patient hand contamination with multidrug-resistant organisms (MDROs) is common and correlates with contamination on high-touch hospital room surfaces, according to a study published online April 13 in Clinical Infectious Diseases.

Lona Mody, MD, from the University of Michigan Medical School in Ann Arbor, and colleagues used microbial surveillance to assess the role of patient hand contamination in MDRO transmission. Analysis included 399 patients, and samples were collected prospectively from nares, patients’ dominant hands, and 6 high-touch environmental surfaces on admission, days 3 and 7, and weekly until discharge.

The researchers found that 14% of patients were colonized with an MDRO at baseline, with 10% having an MDRO on their hands. Just under one-third of rooms (29%) harbored an MDRO. Six percent of the 225 patients with at least 2 visits had a newly acquired MDRO on their hands during their hospitalization. The rate of new MDRO acquisition was 24.6 per 1000 patient-days in patients and 58.6 per 1000 patient-days in rooms. Typing of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) demonstrated a high correlation between MRSA on patient hands and room surfaces.

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“Patient hand hygiene protocols should be considered to reduce transmission of pathogens and health care-associated infections,” the authors write.

Two authors disclosed financial ties to health care analytics and biotechnology companies, and one disclosed ties to Xenex, which makes disinfection systems.

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