We use cookies to understand how you use our site and to improve your experience. This includes personalizing content and advertising. To learn more, click here. By continuing to use our site, you accept our use of cookies. Cookie Policy.

Features Partner Sites Information LinkXpress
Sign In
Advertise with Us

Download Mobile App


ATTENTION: Due to the COVID-19 PANDEMIC, many events are being rescheduled for a later date, converted into virtual venues, or altogether cancelled. Please check with the event organizer or website prior to planning for any forthcoming event.

Hospital Sinks and Faucets Harbor Slime and Biofilm

By HospiMedica International staff writers
Posted on 09 Jul 2019
Print article
Dirty faucets and sinks in intensive care units (ICU) can lead to unintentional spread of bacteria and microorganisms due to contaminated water splashing out, claims a new study.

The study, led by researchers at the University of Michigan Health System (U-M; Ann Arbor, MI, USA), was designed to understand the splash potential of eight different ICU faucet spout and sink bowl/drain cover designs. To identify the grime level of the sinks, the researchers used adenosine triphosphate (ATP) monitoring to measure cleanliness, as well as microbial cultures. A splash study was performed using a fluorescent indicator. Photographs were taken to record notable findings during the audit and the splash study.

The results showed that visible biofilm was associated with higher ATP readings, and that the cultures tested over the course of the study grew Pseudomonas aeruginosa, mold, and other environmental organisms. As to design features, they found that a shallow depth of the sink bowl enabled potentially contaminated water to splash onto patient care items, healthcare worker hands, and into patient care spaces, at times to a distance of more than 1.2 meters from the sink itself. The study was presented at the 46th annual conference of the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC), held during June 2019 in Philadelphia (PA, USA).

“The inside of faucets where you can't clean were much dirtier than expected,” said lead author Kristen Van der Elzen, MPH, CIC. “Potentially hazardous germs in and around sinks present a quandary for infection preventionists, since having accessible sinks for hand washing is so integral to everything we promote. Acting on the information we found, we have undertaken a comprehensive faucet replacement program across our hospital.”

“As we learn more about the often stealthy ways in which germs can spread inside healthcare facilities, infection preventionists play an increasingly important role in healthcare facility design, including in the selection of sink and faucet fixtures, as this study illustrates,” said President Karen Hoffmann, RN, MS, CIC, president of APIC. “Because the healthcare environment can serve as a source of resistant organisms capable of causing dangerous infections, an organization's infection prevention and control program must ensure that measures are in place to reduce the risk of transmission from environmental sources and monitor compliance with those measures.”

Related Links:
University of Michigan Health System

Gold Supplier
Disposable Protective Suit For Medical Use
Disposable Protective Suit For Medical Use
Emergency Trolley
Emergency Trolley – 74403
Patient Positioning Devices & OR Accessories
SchureMed Tools
Patient Transfer Stretcher
TT-Patient Transfer Stretcher

Print article
FIME - Informa



view channel
Image: The AI tool can also tackle dangerous inequalities in heart attack diagnosis (Photo courtesy of Freepik)

AI Algorithm Integrates Cardiac Troponin Test Results with Clinical Data to Quickly Rule out Heart Attacks in Patients

The accepted standard for diagnosing myocardial infarction, or heart attack, involves assessing the blood for troponin levels. However, this approach applies the same benchmark for all patients, failing... Read more

Surgical Techniques

view channel
Image: The deployable electrodes are ideal for minimally invasive craniosurgery (Photo courtesy of EPFL)

Soft Robotic Electrode Offers Minimally Invasive Solution for Craniosurgery

Minimally invasive medical procedures offer numerous benefits to patients, including decreased tissue damage and shorter recovery periods. However, creating equipment that can pass through a small opening... Read more

Health IT

view channel
Image: First ever institution-specific model provides significant performance advantage over current population-derived models (Photo courtesy of Mount Sinai)

Machine Learning Model Improves Mortality Risk Prediction for Cardiac Surgery Patients

Machine learning algorithms have been deployed to create predictive models in various medical fields, with some demonstrating improved outcomes compared to their standard-of-care counterparts.... Read more

Point of Care

view channel
Image: IntelliSep is the first FDA-cleared diagnostic tool to assess cellular host response to aid in identifying ED patients with sepsis (Photo courtesy of Cytovale)

Rapid Microfluidic Test Demonstrates Efficacy as Diagnostic Aid to Improve Sepsis Triage in ED

Sepsis is the primary cause of mortality worldwide, accounting for over 350,000 fatalities annually in the United States alone, a figure that surpasses deaths from opioid overdoses, prostate cancer, and... Read more
Copyright © 2000-2023 Globetech Media. All rights reserved.