As general background information, Clostridium difficile, C. difficile is a bacterium. The bacteria are found in the feces. People can become infected if they touch items or surfaces that are contaminated with feces and then touch their mouth or mucous membranes. Healthcare workers can spread the bacteria to others or contaminate surfaces through hand contact. For safety precautions the following may be done to reduce the chance of spread to others: Wash hands with soap and water, as alcohol-based hand rubs may not be as effective against spore-forming bacteria. Clean your grandmother’s chair, as well as surfaces in bathrooms, kitchens and other nearby areas on a regular basis with household detergents/disinfectants. Hypochlorite-based disinfectants (e.g., household chlorine bleach) have been used with some success for environmental surface disinfection in patient-care areas contaminated by C. difficile. When using this disinfectant process, the bleach should remain on the surface for 3-4 minutes before wiping it off. Note: while EPA-registered hospital disinfectants are recommended for general use whenever possible in patient-care areas, at present there are no EPA-registered products with specific claims for inactivating C. difficile spores.
Following surface disinfection as described above, you may wish to further protect the chair’s surfaces by using a chemical germicide registered as a hospital disinfectant by the EPA. EPA approved “Wipe-down” disinfectants should be mist-sprayed onto all skin contact areas from a distance of approximately 12 inches consistent with the manufacturer’s instructions. In closing, hand washing is essential. Further, when handling contaminated clothing or soft goods, it is highly recommended that disposable gloves be used to prevent cross contamination or the spread of infection.
The Lift Doctor*