We will consider the answers to these and related questions in next month's Diagnote column.
In the meantime, you may find additional information on MRSA and proper hand hygiene at the Web sites listed in the Suggested
Hand-washing checklist for veterinarians and staff
Using hygienic procedures, staff should wash their hands:
- When arriving to the hospital, and before leaving.
- Between direct contacts with individual patients.
- After touching objects likely to be contaminated with pathogenic organisms, such as urinary catheters, soiled surgical drapes
and cages in hospital wards.
- Before taking care of particularly susceptible patients, especially those in critical-care units.
- After taking care of infected patients or those likely to be colonized with microbes of special clinical significance (e.g.,
bacteria that are resistant to multiple antibiotics).
- Before preparing medications for patients.
- Before and after touching wounds.
- Before performing invasive procedures such as biopsies, placing intravenous catheters or urinary catheters.
- After removing gloves. Gloves could have manufacturing defects and might become damaged in use. Bacteria on hands multiply
rapidly inside the warm, moist environment of gloves (also called glove juice), even without external contamination.
- After hands have been contaminated with urine, feces, blood or other body excretions and secretions.
- When hands are visibly soiled, and after personal bodily functions including urination, defecation, sneezing, coughing or
blowing your nose.
Dr. Osborne, a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine, is professor of medicine in the Department
of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Minnesota.