Tuesday, February 2, 2010

A Letter from a Member of the Veterinary Profession to Members of the Human Medical Profession

From recent visits to human hospitals the efforts to control hospital related infections have really gone a little far in the wrong direction. In that effort human doctors were instructed to wear bow ties or no ties rather than dangling ties that may be related to HRIs (hospital related infections). Recently it seems more time is spent rubbing stuff into hands than is spent with the patients. Is that a Madison Avenue effect? It comes to mind that one human hospital should have adopted that hand "sterilization" before equipping all hospitals with dispensers and antiseptics deemed necessary. Then when that effort was found to be less than effective only one hospital would have borne the expense. From the veterinary point of view we wonder why veterinary surgery virtually never results in a HRI? Could it be that in attempting to sterilize the environment in human facilities the harmless organisms are killed and the deadly ones are left? In other words the stronger the attempts, the worse the infection rates. Human doctors say that digs do not operate om dogs implying that it is tie surgeons who spread infections. In our veterinary facilities we cannot afford the extremes of the control that human physicians attempt. Could the human medical profession be barking up the wrong tree? We know that in bacterial cultures in the laboratory we find one organism will out grow all others in time. Why not take that knowledge further and apply a harmless easily-grown organism to be used with cleaning agents to control the serious ones. A vat of yeast could be growing that for little or no cost could supply all the yeast necessary for every operating room in a large hospital. Actually it could be adequate for the whole hospital. About the vogue of hand washing and application of chemicals to sterilize them, why not attack the most obvious area of potential infection and that is the human mouth? Ask any bacteriologist and she or he will tell you that the human mouth is, bacteriologically crawling with all kinds of organisms with the potential of causing damage to humans. It is not only in sneezing and coughing but in just breathing that infective organisms can contaminate the environment. I would think shoes would carry more problems into hospitals than hands. Perhaps the above suggestions are too drenched with common sense to be considered by the human profession.

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