Empathy dolls: are they a source of cross-contamination between patients?
J Hosp Infect. 2014 Mar 6;
Authors: Subramanian B, Parsons H, Finner P, Townsend R
Following a cluster of two patients with identical strains of Clostridium perfringens prosthetic joint infections on an ortho-geriatric ward in a teaching hospital in England, investigations were conducted into infection control practices. It emerged that empathy dolls were being used to help alleviate agitation in dementia patients; this had been introduced without consultation with the infection prevention and control team. Environmental testing of the doll pre and post laundry at different temperatures helped to establish the types and numbers of organisms present. This testing enabled our unit to provide guidance on the optimum strategy for decontamination and safe use of these dolls.
PMID: 24661788 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]