by Brent McNutt
Posted on Friday 23rd of January 2009
Are all bacteria bad? While germs can result in diseases, some bacteria are "friendly." For instance, consider the fact that we use bacteria to create cheese as food and wines as drinks. While we could debate forever about which cheese and wines are the tastiest, the point is that not all bacteria result in diseases. Likewise, in the world of medicine, we typically assume bacteria to be dangerous-or even deadly. However, that is not always true.
Its name is Lactobacillus, "Lactobacillus plantarum 299"--to be exact. These "friendly" bacteria can defeat a type of dangerous bacteria that can result in ventilated patients developing breathing sicknesses. Researchers have discovered that using a particular bacterial solution is more effective than common antiseptics, in preventing the top cause of VAP: ventilator-associated pneumonia.
A group of researchers from a university hospital in Sweden conducted a fascinating study. They added "friendly" bacteria to an antiseptic that medical professionals often use. Why is VAP a problem? VAP happens when people breathe in harmful bacteria, via their throat, mouth, or breathing tube. As a complication to the problem, the majority of patients who are ventilated cannot communicate, or have been sedated. They either cannot express the symptoms of VAP-or are simply unconsciously aware of it!
So, what exactly did the researchers learn? They discovered that introducing the patient to the friendly bacteria, was as successful as using the antiseptic. Other benefits include the elimination of:
•discoloration of teeth
Nevertheless, not all bacteria are "friendly." Every day, doctors, nurses, and other workers in the medical world, are constantly battling various types of dangerous bacteria in hospitals. These bacteria are far from being harmless critters. In fact, they result in roughly 90,000 hospital deaths, per year!
The most common hospital bacteria are MRSA, or the "superbug." Its scientific name is Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. MRSA is harmless when it exists on patients' skin or inside their noses. However, when people become exhausted, wounded, or have recently undergone surgery-the MRSA bacteria is more likely to infect them. To compound the problem, MRSA is resistant to various antibiotics, including penicillin, and penicillin-like antibiotics.
Fortunately, those in the medical field can take certain steps to help reduce the transmission of MRSA, in clinics and hospitals. They can keep areas surrounding the patient, clean as a bean. They can sterilize surgical instruments. They can wear scrubs, such as cheap urbane scrubs, which are significantly more hygienic than other types of medical attire.
Besides reducing the spread of harmful bacteria, scrubs also provide an array of other benefits to medical personnel. They are comfortable; available in a wide variety of colors, patterns, and sizes; and a cinch to wash and dry.
We should remember that not all bacteria are harmful. In fact, we can use certain "friendly" bacteria to combat the dangerous variety. However, we must always use effective means of combating unfriendly bacteria, such as those prevalent in clinics and hospitals. Make scrubs your friend and MRSA your enemy!
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