Impact of Protective Footwear on Floor and Air Contamination of Intensive Care Units

Lt A Gupta, Brig AC Anand, VSM, Lt Col SK Chumber, Wg Cdr VK Sashindran, SR Patrikar


Background: Use of protective footwear before entering the intensive care units is enforced with the assumption that it lowers the incidence of bacterial floor colonization. The present study was carried out to find the efficacy of protective footwear on bacterial floor colonization.
Methods: The study was carried out in the intensive care unit of a tertiary care hospital. The study was divided into two phases of two weeks each, phase I with and phase II without use of protective footwear. Samples were taken at six different sites namely footwear exchange area; visitors /staff route; partitioned patient cubicle; central monitoring area; open patient cubicle and scrub up areas. Floor samples were taken at 0600, 1100, 1700 and 2200 hours and air samples at 0600 and 1700 hours. Bacteria were identified and colony forming units (cfu) measured from floor and colony forming units/metre3 (cfu/m3) from air sample cultures. Result: A total of 9521 bacterial colony forming units were isolated from 192 samples in phase I from the floor samples and 9971cfu from 192 samples in phase II. From 96 air samples in each phase, a mean of 262 cfu/m3 in phase I and 220cfu/m3 in phase II were isolated. The difference between the two phases was statistically not significant (p value > 0.05 for both).

Conclusion: Floor and air colony counts showed no significant difference in the two phases with and without protective footwear. Protective footwear had no significant impact on bacterial contamination of floors.