Links for you. Science:

The Quiet Decline Of The American Scientific Empire
Understanding the altmetrics wackaloon
Stopping CRE: Where there’s a will, there’s a way?
Are we causing antibiotic resistance by trying to prevent it?
Despite room cleaning, MDR A. baumannii persists in patient environment


Northern Civil War Widows vs. the Marriage Mart: Lunch with Laura Salisbury of BU
THE CONTEST EVERYBODY LOSES (every freelancer should read this)
Zombie Turkey Attack
‘The Labor Movement Never Stands Still’: An Interview With Marvin Miller (1917–2012)
The NFL’s Coming Conflict on Cannabis (the Patriots play in a medical marijuana state. Just saying)
Saudi-Led Oil Lobby Group Financed 2012 Dark Money Attack Ads
The Nile from space
The Schizophrenia Regularly on Display
11 Weirdly Spelled Words—And How They Got That Way
The real reason some colleges make SAT reporting optional for applicants
31 Nights of Light 2012 (what all those funky colors the Pru has going on at night are)
My Turn

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1 Response to 12/3/12

  1. Zachary Smith says:

    “Despite room cleaning, MDR A. baumannii persists in patient environment”

    I’m nothing except a semi-informed layman, but I know ‘stupid sanitation situations” when I see them. Recently I was visiting an elderly relative in a Indiana rural hospital. He was there because an earlier emergency room visit to another hospital had infected him with an antibiotic-resistant pneumonia. His hospital room was simply a disaster from the standpoint of the poor schmuck who would have had to clean it. Rip out the medical equipment, and it could have instantly been refurnished as a motel room or a generic office at some business establishment. IMO ordinary construction materials just aren’t suitable for patient rooms in 2012.

    Why aren’t we building hospitals with rooms which 1) are easy to properly sanitize and 2) tend to stay in that state of diminished germs?

    I googled the terms .Acinetobacter baumannii copper surfaces and found the following:



    Even with my limited knowledge, I believe I could have improved that relative’s room. For starters, I’d have re-skinned it. The ceiling and all four walls would be smoothed, scrubbed, then covered with pure copper sheet. The sheets would be glued to the old walls and the seams covered with adhesive copper tape. If hard bronze bronze floor tiles are impractical for a hospital room, I’d at least try for a seamless floor which could be quickly mopped and dried. The ceiling/walls/floor joints would be curved as in the best commercial restrooms. No places for dirt/germs to hide, and if they did get deposited they’d die pretty quickly by contact with the germicidal surface.

    All the furniture in my refurbished room would be fabricated from copper/copper alloys or with Cu clad materials. For guests, think of the old stamped steel lawn chairs of years past. Ditto for the hospital gear – the carts, the bed, outlet covers, almost everything. I say “almost everything” because there are places I’d substitute silver for copper, for good as copper is in whacking germs, silver is better. The bathroom fixtures would be silverplated for sure, and probably the handles on the inside and outside of the entry door. Ditto for the light switches. But silver is so expensive!! Compared to what?

    That relative spent weeks in a combination of rehab rooms, regular hospital rooms, and intensive care rooms. Assume for discussion purposes the cost was an even $100,000. Assuming also that a troy ounce of silver goes for $35, the hospitalization costs for my relative would purchase over 88 kilograms of silver. But I doubt if more than half a pound of silver would be needed for a single room for it would be used as a plating material. And it’s a one-time investment.

    Air handling: I’d fit a small box over the air inlet grill. As incoming air flowed through some convoluted channels, it would get blasted by adequate amounts of UV radiation. A somewhat larger box would go over the air return to double the UV dose – don’t want to spread the ‘goodies’ from the room to the other inmates and staff.

    Now to the staff. For many years whenever I’ve been at the dentist’s office everybody who approached me pulled on a pair of disposable gloves. And they always wore a mask. On the other hand, I’ve NEVER seen this happen during any of my visits to any other doctor’s office. Nor did any of the many hospital staffers from doctors to the lunch-delivery-lady wear either a mask or gloves when I visited that relative. And from all the stories I’ve seen, handwashing by the medical professionals is resisted with the same determination as it was back in Semmelweis’s day. From those same accounts I get the impression the high and mighty doctors are the worst offenders.

    Now I ask, why can’t somebody get together a bunch of qualified professionals and brainstorm this kind of scheme? I’m sure they could run circles around the ideas of a Hoosier Hick like myself.

    And if nothing like this ever happens, I’d ask in whose interest is it for the ongoing germ disaster to continue with ineffective half measures?

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