Objective: The aim of this study was to determine the presence of multidrug resistant (MDR) pathogenic bacteria in the environment of the Intensive Care Units (ICUs) a tertiary care hospital in Jamaica. This was done to find out if organisms previously associated with outbreaks are present and to make recommendations as appropriate, for infection prevention and control measures.
Methods: Two hundred environmental swabs taken from specific areas such as sinks, doors, cupboard handles, drip stands and bed railings were taken from the ICU of a tertiary care hospital in Jamaica. Conventional methods such as microscopy and culture techniques according to the guidelines set out by the Clinical Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI) were used to identify them. After identification the antibiotic susceptibility tests were done using primarily the Kirby-Bauer Disk Diffusion method and the individual patterns of susceptibility noted.
Results: Of the 200 samples collected from the ICU, 25 MDR were identified: eight per cent (2 organisms) were Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus (MRSA) and the remaining 92% (23 organisms) were MDR Gram negative organisms.
Conclusion: Multidrug resistant pathogenic organisms were detected in the ICU milieu, indicating the potential for transmission to critically ill patients. The identification of these pathogens highlights the need for reinforcement of infection control strategies to eliminate this potential reservoir of infectious MDR organisms.
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