British researchers have concluded that disinfectant wipes routinely used in hospitals may actually spread drug-resistant bacteria rather than kill the dangerous infections. While the wipes killed some bacteria, a study of two hospitals showed they did not get them all and could transfer the so-called superbugs to other surfaces, Gareth Williams, a microbiologist at Cardiff University, said.
“What we have found is there is a high risk,” said Williams, who led the study. “We need to give guidance to the staff on how to use the wipes because we found there is a possibility of cross transfer.” MRSA can live on multiple surfaces and is very dangerous in hospital settings.
Experts have been saying for years that poor hospital practices spread dangerous bacteria, and yet many studies have shown that health care workers, including doctors and nurses, often fail to even wash their hands as directed. Antibacterial wipes are supposed to be an easy and disposable solution to the problem, but the study suggests that they could actually be contributing to it.