What's Really on Hospital Patients' Hands?

Antibiotic-resistant bacteria were commonly found on hospital patients' hands at discharge.

(RxWiki News) A recent study conducted by Lona Mody, M.D., M.Sc. at the University of Michigan Medical School found that patients regularly bring multidrug-resistant organisms (bacteria and other microorganisms that have become resistant to certain antibiotics) on their hands when they are discharged from a hospital to a post-acute care facility and often acquire more multidrug-resistant organisms (MDROs) during their time there. 

Patients in post-acute care facilities, such as nursing homes and long-term care facilities, may come into contact with common-area surfaces, health care workers' hands and frail patients, increasing the probability of MDRO transmission, the authors suggested.

The study found that nearly one-quarter of the 357 patients who participated had at least one MDRO on their hands when they were discharged from the hospital to the post-acute care facility. 

During follow-up, 34.2 percent of patients' hands were colonized with an MDRO and 10.1 percent of patients newly acquired one or more MDROs.

Overall, 67.2 percent of MDRO-colonized patients (82 of 122) remained colonized at discharge.

This study was published online March 14 by JAMA Internal Medicine

This research was funded by National Institute on Aging. The authors declared no conflicts of interest.