Science Questions

Should we sterilize footwear in hospitals?

Sun, 21st Sep 2008

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Question

John, Colchester asked:

Its all very well hospital staff washing their hands with alcoholic gel and such-like but has anyone thought of having a matt covered with hydrogen peroxide to sterilise footwear as well? Is that an issue?

Answer

Sani - When you look at the issue of contamination in hospitals and transferral of organism particularly in relation to C. difficile we know that most of the contamination comes from patients that are already infected with the infection, with the disease, with the organism.  The crucial thing really is to make sure that you clean the surfaces.  You clean the sites where you touch quite frequently by healthcare workers.  You also isolate the patient whos symptomatic.  Its less of an issue in terms of people bringing it in.  Youre not going to bring it in from the community on your footwear, for instance.

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