Spheres used for physical therapy for children and similar to those popularized in many family restaurants can contribute to the transmission of microorganisms among patients, according to new studies published in «American Journal of Infection Control» (AJIC), a journal of the Association of Experts on Infection and Epidemiology Control.
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The popularity of ball pools has increased as traditional business restaurants have been installed by children since the 1980s and are often found contaminated with visible dirt, vomiting, mud, or urine that provides a permissive environment for contamination. Similar ball pools are also commonly used in pediatric physical therapy to stimulate children with sensory or motor disorders. According to the study, it can take days or even weeks to last for cleaning, allowing microorganisms to accumulate and grow to a level that can cause infections in children.
Researchers at the University of North Georgia (USA) examined six ball pools located in physiotherapy clinics for patients or ambulances in the state of Georgia. A random selection of nine to 15 balls of different depths of each pool was selected.
The study showed considerable colonization microbial substances in balls that have been tested, including eight bacteria and yeast that could cause the disease. It has been found that bacterial colonization is so high that thousands of cells have been found per ball, which clearly shows the greater potential for the transmission of these organisms to patients and the greater possibility of infection.
You must be careful with the little ones
"We found the version a significant number of microorganisms between different ball patterns, "says Mary Ellen Oesterle, chief researcher at the Department of Physical Therapy at the University of Northern Georgia. This suggests that clinics use different protocols for cleaning and maintenance, which may represent a wider need to clarify and define standards that reduce the risk of transmission.
In general, researchers identified 31 types of bacteria and one types of yeast Bacteria associated with people found in pools with pellets include "Enterococcus faecalis", which can cause endocarditis, septicemia, urinary tract infection and meningitis; "Staphylococcus hominis", which is the cause of blood circulation infections and is reported as a cause for sepsis in the intensive care unit of newborns; "Streptococcus oralis" known to cause endocarditis, adult respiratory distress syndrome and streptococcal shock, and "Acinetobacter lwofii" which can cause septicemia, pneumonia, meningitis, and urinary and skin infection.
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"This study shows that the balls are psycho can pose a risk of infection – warns Karen Hoffmann, president of APIC in 2019-. Facilities must establish a regular cleaning program that will protect patients and healthcare workers from possible risks of infection.