Friday, October 7, 2011

Cyber Staph

I knew it was going to happen sooner of later, but I was surprised how fast it happened. Ive heard about computer viruses but now we have computer bacteria. We had an uptick in the number of nosocomial infections on the first floor to have computer order entry mandated. Most of these were staph. After an exhaustive search we found the source. It was of course the computer keyboards that were used to enter all the orders. It appears that once the keyboard is contaminated it is rapidly spread because people have to keep going to computers to do anything and before you know it, the staph is spread everywhere. Worse, there is no way to clean and sterilize the keyboards. The touch screens were worse because they seem to keep a static charge that attracts all the floating dust and bacteria to the screens! One of our administrators suggested that all computers becovered in one of those keyboard plastic things, but when I mentioned the tough screens he blew me off. I saw him later sneeze and cover his computer with mist!


Unknown said...

There are also sealed, flexible keyboards. They cost about $20.00 and should be easy to sterilize, in fact, they could be sprayed with your favorite antiseptic after each use.

Throckmorton said...

Thanks, we are in the process of getting some. We dont know what to do with the touch screens.

felixkasza said...

How about sterilising stuff with ethylene oxide? ETO sterilisation runs at temperatures that a (turned off) screen or PC should easily survive -- less than 60 C. Yes, it's poisonous, teratogenic, mutagenic, carcinogenic (duh -- it's a biocide), not to mention flammable, and explosive, but it generally works a treat.

Oh, and if you figure out something for the keyboards (like enviro-sealed ones that can be washed), you could just spray and wipe the screens with your disinfectant of choice.

Worst case, cover the screen with a protection film (e.g., Zagg, available at Amazon or at Zagg's directly) and have at it with everything from H2O2+surfactant to colloidal silver via quats and whatnot. Should the film deteriorate after a while of this, spend three bucks on a new one.


SeaSpray said...

Ignorance is bliss I tell you. Sure ..may kill you ..but bliss. :)

I ran into someone .. a nurse who told me her brother is in hospice now because he had back surgery 6 mos ago and acquired a MRSA infection. Goes in for a surgery and dies because of an infection he caught at the hospital.

WHY can't they thoroughly sterilize everything ...particularly patient areas??? I am guessing because each employee/visitor is bringing it in with their shoes, clothing and computer equipment, etc. i remember some tv/health report doctor from back in the 80s telling people that they should fight like hell to stay out of the hospital and if they end up in one they should fight like hell to get out of the hospital. How much worse is it now> And why don't regularly scheduled employees catch these things ...people that have worked in hospitals for years? Do they become resistant?