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Author Topic: Would filtering farts prevent hospital acquired infections?  (Read 3761 times)

Offline thedoc

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Chris,
 
Excellent interview on farts.
 
If all the assholes in a hospital had effective fart-gas filters (that is ALL the patients and all the staff - I know, good luck on the staff side,) what would the reduction in Hospital Acquired Infections be?  I understand all the airborne bacteria spread in all kinds of ways through the HVAC system, butt, as you know, HAI is a serious problem.  Therefore, I believe I am asking a serious question, although it appears little real scientific research has been done on this subject.
 
John M. Miranda
Asked by John Miranda


                                        Visit the webpage for the podcast in which this question is answered.

 

« Last Edit: 31/01/2012 15:12:25 by _system »


 

Offline CliffordK

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I missed the reference.
However, while some bacteria may become airborne through flatulence, the majority of the human pathogens are transmitted either through coughing/sneezing, or through handling stuff, and eventually bringing the material from the hands to the mouth.

A good air filtration system might help with the farts, as you put it, as well as airborne diseases from coughing.

Contact spreading of diseases can be reduced by washing hands regularly, especially when going between patient rooms.
 

Offline Don_1

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Stone the crows, what hospital have you been visiting?

I rather doubt it do anything much to prevent the spread of bacteria, but it might make the atmosphere a tad fresher.
 

Offline RD

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Offline chris

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We did this experiment on the Naked Scientists show in May 2008 with the help of microbiologist Simon Park, from Surrey.

http://www.thenakedscientists.com/HTML/content/interviews/interview/917/

Pictures of the farted-on culture plates are included with the above...

Chris
 

Offline CliffordK

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Thanks for the link.

So...  the hospital gowns that are rather revealing..  may not in fact be very protective   [xx(]

It is interesting that clothes were quite protective.  You didn't mention the experimental protocol.  Was the petri dish just nearby in the room....  or positioned where it might in fact get direct splatter?

One thing to keep in mind.  Bugs that infect the gut often aren't too pathogenic in the lungs.  So, the biggest risk (if there is any) would be passing gas in a cafeteria, where the bugs might be able to settle on food.
 

Offline chris

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It's not entirely true that gut bugs are generally apathogenic in the respiratory tract. Ventilated patients often succumb to E. coli infections, and Steps and Pseudomonads, as well as fungi (like candida), can also cause a problem.

Chris
 

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