MICROBIAL CARRIAGE OF HOSPITAL UNIFORMS AMONG EMERGENCY MEDICINE RESIDENTS AT THE UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES – PHILIPPINE GENERAL HOSPITAL (UP-PGH)
The aim of this research is to identify the microbial flora and pathogen of hospital uniforms (HUs) among emergency medicine (EM) residents at the University of the Philippines – Philippine General Hospital (UP-PGH) and to determine factors affecting their presence. A prospective, cross-sectional design that sampled and cultured bacterial contaminants on hospital uniforms of EM residents at UP-PGH over a 10-day period from 13-23 April 2021 was utilized. Frequency distribution, z-test and chi-square test at p <0.05 statistical significance were used for the data analysis. A total of 22 EM residents, with a mean age of 30 (± 2.77) years participated in the study; more than half were females (54.5%) and went on evening (1900-0700hrs) duty shift (63.6%). Handwashing was done by 45.5% and 77.3% prior to and after seeing a patient respectively. Increases in the proportion of bacterial isolation in the after-duty samples were significantly noted for S. epidermidis at the right pocket (p<0.01), torso (p<0.01), and sleeve (p<0.01). Moderate growth of the bacteria was significantly associated with the morning shift (0700-1900 hours). Hospital uniforms can harbor pathogens and other harmful microorganisms as it is regularly exposed to the hospital environment. Given the growing number of nosocomial infections and increasing bacterial resistance to antibiotics, it is recommended to enforce infection control hospital policies that emphasize the importance of wearing HUs only at the workplace and prohibit its usage in public places. This should include regularly providing freshly laundered HUs, related sterilization services and proper storage.
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