Crime TV series methods could help battle hospital infections

April 24th, 2008 - 3:40 pm ICT by admin  

London, April 24 (IANS) Inspired by popular TV serial “CSI”, medical investigators in Holland have applied its forensic methods to pinpoint potential hospital infection risks. For example, they applied Luminol at Deventer Hospital, a chemical used in “CSI” (Crime Scene Investigation) to detect traces of blood in haemodialysis units. They also suspect that virulent hepatitis C virus may be transmitted via such contamination.

Luminol reacts with microscopic amounts of blood to produce bright blue luminescence, which allows investigators to track invisible blood splashes in the environment.

Paul Bergervoet and colleagues tested their seemingly clean unit with Luminol. They found traces of blood on many surfaces including cupboard handle, telephones, computer keyboards, side tables and the floor, even though some of these surfaces had been cleaned.

They expect that these results can be reproduced in other hospitals that plan to use Luminol in the future as described in their paper.

The group of researchers suggested that Luminol be used as part of a hospital infection control regimen, in order to highlight risks associated with the contamination in such environment with blood.

Bergervoet of Deventer commented: “The aim of this article is to… monitor cleaning and disinfection procedures and alert healthcare workers to the possibility of contamination of the hospital environment with blood.”

The results of the experiment were published in the Journal of Hospital Infection.

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