The potentially deadly bacteria MRSA has been found on ambulance oxygen tanks, floor and handles.
In a paper of 2018, the Emergency Medical Journal stated that methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) has been detected on some ambulance oxygen tanks and floors, as well as handles.
The Emergency Medical Journal published a new study in 2018 on the methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). These days there’s a so much-talked-about issue that includes MRSA and the possibility of infection. The threat is allegedly tied to hospitals, but according to this new study, it can affect patients before they even get to a hospital bed.
The threat can reside on oxygen tanks in ambulances, ambulance floors and even on ambulance door handles.
The main goal of this study is to verify if MRSA is present in the prehospital setting already, like on the surface of oxygen cylinders and regulators used in ambulances, and to assess other areas as well. The results demonstrate that in fact, oxygen cylinders can harbor MRSA, increasing the risk of passing it on to vulnerable patients. The results also support the need to develop “universal disinfection protocols” for such equipment and areas so as to cut down on the risk of infecting patients.
As the trend reports, the surfaces of oxygen tanks and regulators in ambulances at an emergency medical services station in North Alabama and at an offsite oxygen cylinder storage area were swabbed to test for the presence of MRSA. All nine oxygen tanks tested in those ambulances had MRSA colonies, and also the floors of those vehicles have been demonstrated to be colonized by MRSA, as well as door handles.
Study author Cody Vaughn Gibson, from the Department of Natural Sciences at Calhoun Community College in Decatur, Alabama cautioned that because tanks are exchanged between facilities, the potential exists for the bacteria to spread across large areas.
This issue is not one that gets a lot of attention, but should. This is what Michael David, assistant professor of Medicine and Epidemiology at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine in Philadelphia, told Reuter. He also affirmed that this study raises the problem of these specific objects being contaminated by MRSA and resulting in a previously unaddressed reservoir of MRSA in ambulances. This observation importantly may result in new standard procedures to clean these objects with an antiseptic between uses.