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Infection Control

Low levels of resistant bacteria found in ambulances

April 05, 2012
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CHICAGO — A new study suggests that treatment areas of ambulances fared well when tested for dangerous bacteria, according to a press release.

Approximately six percent of sites sampled in Chicago-area ambulances tested positive for Staphyloccocus aureus (S. aureus), a bacterium that can cause serious infections and can easily acquire resistance to potent antibiotics, the release stated.

According to the release, a team of researchers from Lewis University in Romeoville, Illinois, took samples from 26 areas inside of 71 ambulances from 34 different Chicago-area municipalities and recovered 100 S. aureus isolates from more than 1,800 sites that were sampled (less than six percent).

"These results indicate that first responders are doing a good job of protecting their patients," said James Rago, PhD, lead study author and assistant professor of biology at Lewis University.

"The research is significant because improper cleaning of these surfaces could be a cause for concern due to the frequency with which emergency medical technicians may touch infected surfaces during patient care, the prevalence of open wounds among burn victims and the fact that these patients go directly to the hospital where they come in contact with patients with compromised immune systems who are vulnerable to infections," Rago added.

Click here to read the complete release.

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