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Antibacterial Soap Could Cut ICU Infection Rate, Apparently This is Somehow A Novel Idea

According to a study presented at infectious disease conference IDWeek, screening for diseases like MRSA as patients enter intensive care units is less effective than hosing them down with antibacterial solutions once a day. Which we kind of thought would be standard? Because you know, germs in an ICU seems like a thing you want want to exterminate with extreme prejudice rather than just be aware of, right?

Apparently not. ICU practices can differ from hospital to hospital, patients entering intensive care are screened to find out if they’re carriers for diseases like MRSA, and if they’re found to be carriers they’re treated with antibiotics. If not, then “Hey, let’s not worry about it” seems to be the attitude. Which, like all good hypochondriacs, we find utterly bonechilling. This is all making us officially even more terrified of ending up in a hospital ICU than we are every morning, and depending on the morning, that level of terror usually hovers between “a lot” and “very.”

Luckily, the study conducted in 43 hospitals around the nation shows that instances of bloodstream infections like MRSA can be cut by as much as 44% with a new and straightforward practice — bathing people in antibacterial soap and coating their nasal passages with antibacterial ointment. This has us wondering if we can just go ahead and request an antibiotic bath right off the bat on our next hospital trip. Which, ironically enough, sounds a little dirty.

Don’t misread our horror here: We carry a healthy degree of twitchiness about the sometimes astounding prevalence of antibiotics and antibacterials present in our everyday life, and we’re as spooked by their links to superbugs like MRSA as the next reasonable person. If we’re going into a ICU, though? There is literally no amount of antibacterial, microbicidal, germ blasting substance that you can hose me down with that I will think is too much. If they could find a way to give me a safe blast with a flamethrower, we’d be first in line to give it a whirl. Toss us in the microwave on low for a couple minutes. Literally do not care, just murder all of the germs, salt the earth of our skin, and banish all of the ashes to a place of wind and hungry ghosts.

(via EurekAlert)

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