A study in the February issue of the American Journal of Infection control found that the surfaces in hospital rooms are often contaminated with spores, even outside of Clostridium difficile infection isolation rooms. Of the 105 non-isolation rooms studied, researchers discovered that 17 (16%) were contaminated with toxin-producing C-diff.
The study also looked at surfaces in hospital work areas and equipment such as oximetry devices and electrocardiogram machines. They found that 23% were contaminated, including 31% in physician work areas, 10% in nurse work areas, and 21% on portable pieces of equipment.
Commenting on his blog, Kevin MD said the study reinforces the importance of old-fashioned soap-and-water handwashing. "Alcohol-based sanitizers aren't effective in killing the spores."