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Hospital Roommates Increase Infection Risk

Hospital Roommates Increase Infection Risk

(Source: Creative Commons)

United Press International

January 11, 2010

Staying in a multibed hospital room dramatically increases the risk of acquiring a serious infectious disease that could be fatal, Canadian researchers say.

Study leader Dr. Dick Zoutman of Queen’s University in Kingston says the risk of acquiring serious infections like Clostridium difficile rises with the addition of every hospital roommate.

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“If you’re in a two, three or four-bedded room, each time you get a new roommate your risk of acquiring these serious infections increases by 10 percent,” Zoutman says in a statement. “That’s a substantial risk, particularly for longer hospital stays when you can expect to have many different roommates.”

Zoutman suggests hospitals consider more private rooms as the norm.

“Despite other advances, multibedded rooms are still part of hospital design in the 21st century,” Zoutman says. “Building hospitals with all private rooms is not yet the standard in Ontario or Canada — but it should be.”

The findings are published online in the American Journal of Infection Control.

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