Removing ICU Sinks Reduces Bacteria


The introduction of a water-free patient care program and subsequent removal of sinks in intensive care units (ICU) has resulted in a significant reduction in bacteria colonization rates.

Water-free means that all activities in the ICU that would normally involve water were changed to exclude it; if change was impossible bottled water was used instead.

The water-free study tested more than 1,400 patients for gram-negative bacilli (GNB)—a specific type of bacteria that includes salmonella, shigella, and pseudomonas and is developing multi-drug resistance with increased frequency. The study showed a 1.22-fold reduction in patients present more than two days and continued decreasing with a 3.6-fold reduction in patients staying more than 14 days, according to the Antimicrobial Resistance & Infection Control Journal. The experiment also showed an immediate 4.7 point drop in the overall GNB colonization rate.

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