Having a friend or family member in the hospital can be extremely stressful, and that stress can have a negative effect on a person’s immune system. Khloe Kardashian announced last week that she is being treated for a staph infection she believes she contracted while visiting Lamar Odom in the hospital- illustrating the importance of disinfecting hospital rooms, not just for the safety of patients themselves, but for the safety of their visitors and hospital staff as well.
From the PEOPLE Magazine story:
“She’s home on antibiotics and being closely monitored by a doctor,” a source says, adding that she contracted the infection from being by estranged husband Lamar Odom’s hospital bedside “but it was exacerbated by stress.” She was diagnosed with the bacterial infection after noticing lumps on her lower body. “
And sadly for the Kardashian family, this is not their first encounter with hospital-borne staph. Kris Jenner’s father, Robert Houghton, contracted a staph infection while in the hospital after a car accident and passed away. Khloe Kardashian is currently receiving IV antibiotics and has a better prognosis, but has not been deemed healthy enough to visit with her sister Kim, who is eight months pregnant.
Staph infections are caused by Staphylococcus bacteria, and the infections they cause can range from minor skin infections to life-threatening systemic infection of internal organs and the bloodstream. Commonly, treatment will involve antibiotics. There are over 30 types of ‘staph’ bacteria, and at least one, Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA), is extremely difficult to treat due to having developed antibiotic resistance.
Optimistically, the CDC indicates that rates of hospital-onset MRSA infection have been improving, though they still define MRSA as a “major patient threat.” Cedars-Sinai, the hospital where Kardashian believes she contracted her staph infection and where Lamar Odom is currently staying, indicated their infection rates are below state and national benchmarks. Still, the overall numbers are very significant. According to the MRSA Research Center at the University of Chicago, about 90,000 invasive MRSA infections are reported each year, resulting in about 20,000 deaths.
There are many ways that hospitals can reduce the likelihood of MRSA and other types of staph infections transmitted within their facilities. Common-sense contact precautions should be used, such as single rooms for infected patients, the use of gloves and gowns, and diligent hand-washing by healthcare providers.
The cleanliness of hospital rooms, common areas, and high-touch surfaces is also paramount. At Xenex, our Germ-Zapping Robots™ use safe, environmentally-friendly pulsed xenon UV light to quickly destroy deadly microorganisms like MRSA and other staph bacteria that can cause hospital acquired infections (HAIs). Xenex Germ-Zapping Robots™ are credited with helping healthcare facilities in the U.S. decrease their MRSA, C.diff and Surgical Site infection rates by 50, 70 and even 100 percent respectively, according to peer-reviewed published studies.
Xenex is reaching out to the Kardashian family and to Cedars-Sinai to offer the use of one of our Germ-Zapping Robots™ to disinfect Khloe’s home, as well as Lamar Odom’s room at Cedars-Sinai and as needed before and after Kim Kardashian’s labor and delivery.
Learn more about Xenex and the science of UV disinfection.