Evaluation of bacterial and fungal contamination in the health care workers? hands and rings in the intensive care unit


Introduction. Nosocomial infections remain a major challenge to the health care system and result in significant mortality, morbidity, and economic burden. Intensive care unit (ICU) patients are at great risk of acquiring nosocomial infections. The objective of this study was to determine the contamination rate (bacterial and fungal) of the health care workers? (HCWs?) hands and ring in ICU. Methods. All health care workers were screened during the day shift in Emam hospital ICU. After obtaining informed consent, convenience samples of HCWs? hands and rings were cultured on specific media during their routine work hours, always after a patient care episode. The fungal and bacterial isolates were identified using standard microbiological procedures. Results. A total of 40 subjects were selected in this study (28females, 12males). The rate of contamination of hands and rings was observed in 73.1%. Most of isolates are known to cause nosocomial infections which included: 23% staphylococci, 7.9% Klebsiella spp., 4.7% Enterobacter spp., 3.9% Escherichia coli, 3.1% Acinetobacter spp., 2.3% Pseudomonas spp., and 27.7% were colonized with fungi. The fungal isolates were 16.6% Candida spp., 3.9% Rhodotorula spp., 3.1% Aspergillus niger, and 3.9% Aspergillus flavus. Conclusion. According to these results HCWs? hands and their rings were contaminated with various types of microorganisms. Medical and hospital personals must follow careful hand-washing techniques to minimize transmission of disease and should remove rings, watches, and bracelets before washing their hands and entering the ICU.