Fungal contamination of ward furnishings and medical equipment used in the treatment and nursing of newborns
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Institute of Nursing and Midwifery, Faculty of Health Sciences, Jagiellonian University Medical College, Krakow, Poland
Dr Jan Bobr Centre for Microbiology and Vaccines, Krakow, Poland
Clinical Department of Neonatology, University Hospital, Krakow, Poland
Department of Microbiology, Jagiellonian University Medical College, Krakow, Poland
Agnieszka Gniadek   

Institute of Nursing and Midwifery, Faculty of Health Sciences, Jagiellonian University Medical College in Krakow, Poland, Kopernika 25 Street, 31-501, Kraków, Poland
Introduction and objective:
Newborn babies staying on hospital wards are likely to be colonized by microorganisms, including potentially pathogenic fungi. The aim of the study was to assess the mycological purity of hospital wards and medical equipment utilized in the treatment and nursing of newborns.

Material and methods:
The study was conducted in Neonatal High Dependency Units (NHDU) and Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICU). 539 samples were collected from 24 different sources, 130 from ward furnishings and 289 from medical equipment. The study was carried out following the microbiology research methods for sample collection. Subsequently, the samples (swabs, water from incubators, washings from respirator tubes and nasal cannulas (nCPAP)) were cultivated on Sabouraud agar plates. The stamps were collected with the application of Count-Tact method. The samples were incubated at the temperature of 25+/-2 o C and the number of fungi assessed (cfu/cm -2 of the surface area). The species were identified based on their morphological and biochemical features.

Fungal growth was observed on 60% of samples collected from ward furnishings and 7% of samples collected from medical equipment. The average number of cfu/cm -2 ranged between 0–8.84 in the case of ward furnishings and between 0–1.22 cfu/cm -2 in the case of medical equipment. In 180 samples collected from the material which had direct contact with newborns no fungal growth was observed.

The furnishings of the wards on which newborns were treated and nursed were contaminated with fungi to an extent which did not pose a threat to the life and health of the newborns. Medical equipment (respirators, incubators, nCPAP cannulas and masks) which came into direct contact with newborns was free from fungi.

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