Television Remote Control is Leading Carrier of Bacteria in Patient's Hospital Room -- New Study Out of the University of Arizona

Remote Control Holds More Bacteria Than Toilet Bowl Handle

Oct 18, 2005, 01:00 ET from NOSO Control

    PHOENIX, Oct. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- A new study by University of Arizona
 Microbiology Professor Chuck Gerba -- "The Germ Doctor" -- ranks the TV remote
 control as the highest carrier of bacteria in a patient's hospital room
 compared to the toilet bowl handle, bathroom door and call buttons, among
 others. Even more disturbing is the detection of Methicillin-Resistent
 Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) on the remote control.  As an antibiotic-
 resistant bacteria, MRSA is a leading cause of infection and death in
     The study involved 15 hospital rooms to determine if the greatest number
 of bacteria in a patient's room occur on the remote control. Samples were
 tested for total bacteria numbers, and of the 28 remotes, 20 had been used by
 multiple patients and 8 remotes were single-patient use.
     The total average bacteria on sites in the hospital room were 91, compared
 to the average for the remote controls at 320. The sites tested included the
 hand rail, call button, tray table, door knob in/out, bath door out, faucet
 handle and flush handle.
     Additionally, the study involved 20 samples of newly opened disposable
 remotes. In this case, the average total bacteria for the newly opened
 disposable remote controls were significantly less at 8.35.
     "At a time when more and more patients are increasingly becoming ill and
 dying due to hospital-acquired infections, this study has undisputedly
 identified a leading source of bacteria," said Dr Gerba. "The positive aspect
 of this study is that there is an easy solution. Since newly opened disposable
 remotes showed a very small level of bacteria, perhaps we can quickly fix the
 problem with disposable remote controls."
     According to a review published in the New England Journal of Medicine,
 infections acquired by patients in hospitals are estimated to affect 2 million
 people resulting in 90,000 deaths, annually. Patients with hospital-acquired
 infections spend an average of 14 days in the hospital compared to other
 patients and account for more than $9.5 billion in excess medical bills. Even
 more staggering was the detection of MRSA bacteria on television remote
 controls in patient hospital rooms.  MRSA cannot be treated with antibiotics
 and is of major concern to hospital staff as a leading cause of hospital-
 acquired infection and death.
     "These numbers clearly show the remote controls as having three times
 greater levels of bacteria than any other site in the hospital room," said Dr.
 Gerba. "Five years ago, The Institute of Medicine called for a national effort
 to make healthcare safe, especially for hospital infections. If there are more
 bacteria on the remote control verses the toilet bowl flusher, then we need to
 do a better job to offset infection and deaths."
     Study Results
     * The average total bacteria on the remote controls was 320.
     * The average total bacteria on sites in the hospital room was 91.
     * The average total bacteria on newly opened disposable remotes was 8.35.
       There was no detection of Staphylococcus Aureus on newly opened
       disposable remotes.
     * MRSA bacteria were present on television remote controls in patient
       hospital rooms.
     Ongoing Studies
     As the most frequently used and handled device in a patient's room, and as
 the leading carrier of bacteria, a future study would address the television
 remote control as a leading source of hospital-acquired patient infection.
     About NOSO Control
     As a subsidiary of New Remotes -- manufacturer of the popular Miracle
 Remote series -- NOSO Control manufactures disposable remote controls for the
 hospital, medical and healthcare industries, to help alleviate infection in
 hospital room settings.  With the introduction of the company's new disposable
 remote control, NOSO Control is quickly gaining momentum in re-defining the
 television and satellite wholesale remote industries, as well as key vertical
 markets including: the hospital industry, the medical supplier/distribution
 industry, hospitality industries and pharmaceutical industry, among others. To
 learn more about NOSO Control, visit or call