When patients head to the hospital, they expect quality care in a safe environment as they recover from illnesses, surgeries, and injuries. Unfortunately, hospital-acquired infections often affect patients and these preventable infections have become a top killer. In fact, hospital-acquired infections rack up billions of dollars in health care costs annually. New studies show that television remotes in hospital rooms may be instrumental in spreading infection.
TV Remotes Harbor Bacteria
A study done at the University of Arizona led by Microbiology professor Chuck Gerba showed that the TV remotes in hospital rooms carry a significant amount of bacteria. Surprisingly, the remotes tested harbored more germs than any other surface in the hospital rooms, including the bathroom doorknobs. Bathroom doorknobs, toilet handles, bathroom sink faucet handles, in-room call buttons, bathroom handrails, and hospital tray tables were among the other surfaces tested within the rooms.
Fifteen different hospital rooms were studied and 28 television remote controls were tested. When tested, dirty remotes had an average of 320 bacteria, while other surfaces averaged only 91 bacteria. According to Dr. Gerba, “These numbers clearly show the remote controls as having three times greater levels of bacteria than any other site in the hospital room.”
MRSA and Hospital TV Remotes
When testing surfaces in hospital rooms, not only did the tests show that television remotes harbored a significant amount of bacteria, but the tests detected MRSA, which is a type of bacteria that is resistant to antibiotics. According to the Center for Disease Control, “Staphylococcus aureus [MRSA] is a leading cause of hospital-acquired infections.” MRSA often causes surgical site infections, pneumonia, and lower respiratory tract infections. It is resistant to penicillin, and most other antibiotics. Not only do these infections often cause serious illness – or in some cases, death – but they result in higher healthcare costs for hospitals and patients. Today, the CDC considers MRSA both endemic and epidemic.
CleanintUV Eliminates the Problem
Proven to spread infection in hospitals, television remotes pose a danger to patients. Dr. Gerba noted that, “If there are more bacteria on the remote control versus the toilet bowl flusher, then we need to do a better job to offset infection and deaths.” Rising to the challenge, Cleanint developed the CleanremoteUV, a device designed to eliminate germs from television remotes. Since most remotes fit into the device, it can be integrated into hospital rooms with ease. Instead of using disposable remotes – which some hospitals have chosen to do – CleanRemoteUV allows hospitals to continue using the same remotes, ensuring that germs are removed between each use, preventing the spread of infection.