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Research Author: Staff Editor Last Updated: Sep 7, 2017 - 10:06:33 PM

Bacteria in Hospitals

By Staff Editor
Feb 27, 2015 - 11:25:43 AM

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( - Bacteria hides in hospitals - in some unexpected places. Every day, more than 200 Americans die due to healthcare-associated hospital infections[1]and about 1 in 25 hospital patients has at least one healthcare-associated infection[2].   Following are six places where bacteria hide in the hospitals and ways to prevent the bacteria from infecting you.

Flowers- Water and natural sugars found in the stems create the perfect environment for growing bacteria. One study explored 60 vases of flowers in a hospital and found 41 different bacterial species, including 12 species of a particular gram-negative bacteria that can cause infections of the skin, blood, and lungs.  Interestingly, different flower types carried different bacteria[3] Solution: Ask family and friends to bring flat cards and photos to hang on the walls

Blood pressure cuffs - More than one-quarter of blood pressure cuffs contained bacteria.[4] With the highest rates of contamination, 83%, occurring on the inner side of BP cuffs kept in intensive care units. Solution: Following good hand washing practices, following facility practices and standards of care, and the use of blood pressure cuff barriers are all options to decrease the transmission of pathogens[5].

Glucose testing strips - Bacteria have been found in between 25%[6] and 78%[7] of hospital test strips used to monitor people with diabetes and other patients, such as pregnant women, who need their blood sugar monitored.  Because blood glucose testing is one of the most commonly performed tests in acute care hospitals[8], contamination of these strips may put millions of patients at greater risk of contracting colds, flus and possibly even hepatitis B 2 and MRSA2 each year. Solution: Request health care professionals open a new vial of test strips for you orindividually foil-wrapped test strips, FreeStyle Precision Pro system, minimizes the risk of contamination.

Elevator buttons- In one study, 61% of hospital elevator buttons tested were colonized with bacteria. Interestingly, they compared this with toilet surfaces and found bacteria on only 43% of toilets.[9]Solution: use hand sanitizer when you get off any elevators

Door knobs and hospital privacy curtains - In one hospital study, 27% of door handles were contaminated by MRSA or other bacteria[10] and another study showed that at least 22% of hospital privacy curtains were contaminated[11]Solution: wash your hands after touching door knobs or curtains, and avoid brushing against or leaning on curtains.

About Abbott Diabetes Care

Abbott Diabetes Care, based in Alameda, Calif., is a leader in developing, manufacturing and marketing glucose monitoring systems designed to help people better manage their diabetes. Additional information about Abbott Diabetes Care may be found at


For advertising/promo please contact Mike McCurdy at: [email protected] or 877-634-9180

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