Beard bacteria in hospitals a growing concern - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Beard bacteria in hospitals a growing concern

Posted: Updated:
BOARDMAN TWP., Ohio -

From the playoff beard to masculine mane's that are long enough to curl and style, facial hair is everywhere.

Compared to beards, the clean shaven look is literally cleaner.

A study published in Orthopedics medical journal in 2016 shows someone with a beard has 5X more"staph" bacteria than someone with a clean shaven face.
 
That bacteria has hospitals concerned.

"In the past they never worried about that. They never worried about beards. Your hair has always been covered but no one ever thought about facial hair," said Director Surgical Services at St. E's Boardman Michelle Aurin.

New research, as recent as 2016 has changed that.

In the operating room section of of St. Elizabeth's Hospital in Boardman,the men are so covered, it's hard to even see if there's a beard underneath the hoods and masks.

Some bacteria also sits on the skin, so beard or no beard, everyone in surgery wears a mask.

In sterilization rooms, each person is covered head to toe.

"That hair could have bacteria in it and it sheds. The skin cells could shed off and be in those trays. When you sterilize that it doesn't sterilize human hairs," said Aurin.

One hair, even as short as a beard hair in surgery, could cause an infection.

"Infections can cause a whole host of different things with patients and ultimately it can cause a patient to lose a limb or a life so we take infection control really seriously," said Aurin.

While visiting patients in the hospital, open wounds are usually treated and dressed, eliminating the threat of hair bacteria.

At home, near vulnerable loved ones, your whiskers still pose a threat, but not a severe one.

"If you had a cut or something, yeah, you could probably pick something up but honestly, most people at home are used to the bacteria in their home and their own bacteria," said Aurin.

While you can't sterilize beards, doctors advise keeping your beard washed and cleaned, just like the hair on your head.
But if you want to choose to shave your worries away... the mustache, goatee or handlebar look is up to you.

The study referenced did show, while beards had more organisms.

They shed a similar amount of bacteria as someone who was clean shaven.

But the hospital says, any hair longer than an eyebrow poses a threat in surgery.

Mercy health officials say they're also looking into research that could change the way arms are covered in a hospital setting.

  • Sports ScoresMore>>

  • Scrappers make it back to back wins on Gonzalez's big night

    Scrappers make it back to back wins on Gonzalez's big night

    Sunday, June 25 2017 11:51 AM EDT2017-06-25 15:51:56 GMT

    Oscar Gonzalez's second home run of the game in the seventh inning lifts the Scrappers past Auburn 5-4, making it back-to-back wins for Mahoning Valley.

    More >>

    Oscar Gonzalez's second home run of the game in the seventh inning lifts the Scrappers past Auburn 5-4, making it back-to-back wins for Mahoning Valley.

    More >>
  • Scrappers beat Auburn in extra innings

    Scrappers beat Auburn in extra innings

    Friday, June 23 2017 12:04 AM EDT2017-06-23 04:04:07 GMT

    The Scrappers won for the first time at Eastwood Field this season 5-4 in 10 innings against Auburn.  Jonathan Laureno's walk off RBI double scored Oscar Gonzalez to send everyone home happy.   Auburn jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning, with the first four batters reaching base. Paul Panaccione and Randy Encarnacion drove in the Doubledays runs. The Scrappers evened the scored in the bottom of the inning, Samad Taylor scored on a wild pitch, and Will Benso...

    More >>

    The Scrappers won for the first time at Eastwood Field this season 5-4 in 10 innings against Auburn.  Jonathan Laureno's walk off RBI double scored Oscar Gonzalez to send everyone home happy.   Auburn jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning, with the first four batters reaching base. Paul Panaccione and Randy Encarnacion drove in the Doubledays runs. The Scrappers evened the scored in the bottom of the inning, Samad Taylor scored on a wild pitch, and Will Benso...

    More >>
  • Moldovan defends title at Mill Creek

    Moldovan defends title at Mill Creek

    Thursday, June 22 2017 11:47 PM EDT2017-06-23 03:47:54 GMT
    Maxwell Moldovan of Uniontown, Ohio defended his title at the Mill Creek Foundation Junior All Star tournament conducted by the American Junior Golf Association. Moldovan shot a 68 for a three day total of 203, finishing three strokes ahead of Aaron Du of Lake Mary, Florida. Taylor Kehoe of Strathroy, Ontario captured the girls division at 205, after shooting 67 on the final day.   Manhue Chen of China placed second, six strokes back. Brookfield's Connor Stevens finished tied...More >>
    Maxwell Moldovan of Uniontown, Ohio defended his title at the Mill Creek Foundation Junior All Star tournament conducted by the American Junior Golf Association. Moldovan shot a 68 for a three day total of 203, finishing three strokes ahead of Aaron Du of Lake Mary, Florida. Taylor Kehoe of Strathroy, Ontario captured the girls division at 205, after shooting 67 on the final day.   Manhue Chen of China placed second, six strokes back. Brookfield's Connor Stevens finished tied...More >>
Powered by Frankly
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2017 WFMJ. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms