In a hospital contamination of nursery equipment with Gram-negative bacilli is a constant problem. Equipment contamination leads to colonization of infants with pathogenic coliform organisms. This results in clinical infection.
During 1961 and 1962 a potential hazard for babies existed in the nursery of South Nassau Communities Hospital. There was frequent contamination of equipment with Gram-negative bacilli; the nasopharynx and umbilical stumps of more than half the babies were colonized with the same pathogenic organisms. Tables 1, 2, and 3 show these data.
The most frequently contaminated fomites were: (1) supposedly sterile water and aqueous benzalkonium chloride (Zephiran); (2) suction machines; (3) rubber tubing and face masks; (4) Vapojettes; (5) humidification systems in Isolettes; (6) aerators and traps in sinks; (7) soap dispensers; and (8) cold sterilization solutions (benzalkonium chloride, cetylpyridinium chloride [Ceepryn], etc).
Klebsiella pneumoniae and Pseudomonas aeruginosa were isolated most frequently (Tables 1 and 2).
A spot check