Dangerous MRSA germs in rental car

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Dangerous MRSA germs in couch rental cars

Rental cars are used more and more. However, it is not always sensible to make cost savings. Risks for patients can arise, particularly in the health and medical fields. Research by the WDR magazine "Westpol" has shown that rental cars are increasingly contaminated with MRSA germs.

The germs, also known as staphylococci, are widespread in nature. Multi-resistant germs (MRSA) also occur, which can become a health problem due to the difficulty in treating them with antibiotics. In humans, they colonize the skin and mucous membranes and are considered pathogens.

A joint study by the Liebig University in Gießen, the Goethe University in Frankfurt and the City of Frankfurt / Main health office had often found MRSA germs in rental cars. A total of 74 rental cars were examined, with one in four showing MRSA germs, according to the WDR magazine on December 1. No germs were found in 70 ambulances examined. The reasons for the lack of disinfection of the vehicles and the lack of specialist staff were identified, because rental car drivers only need a taxi license to be able to transport patients. In addition, these vehicles do not have the appropriate medical equipment. In the otherwise usual ambulances, trained rescue workers are deployed who have medical knowledge.

Officially, couchettes should only be used on patients who can get on and off without outside help. However, it has been shown that, for example, dialysis patients, patients with open wounds and MRSA patients were repeatedly transported in North Rhine-Westphalia. The treating doctor decides who will ultimately be transported with such a couchette. He must then be liable for any health consequences. It is not only medical reasons that play a role in the choice of means of transport, explains the deputy president of the Society for Hospital Hygiene, Walter Popp. The doctors also make their decision with regard to the cost pressure of the health insurance companies. According to the IHK Südwestfalen, around one million patient transports are carried out by couchette every year.

In 2011, the Clinic for Anesthesia and the Institute for Microbiology of the University Clinic in Ulm also carried out a study on hygiene in 86 ambulances and 64 ambulances. It came to the conclusion that hygiene is generally guaranteed in transport vehicles. However, the dangers posed by multi-resistant germs cannot be trivialized. For this reason, the district court of Bielefeld decided that only the qualified patient transporter could transport MRSA patients. (fr)

Image: Matthias M, Wikipedia

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