Show Details

Hospital CSI

May 21, 2008

Hospitals are using crime scene investigation techniques to root out infections.

Transcript

BOB HIRSHON (host):
A high-tech infection buster….I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

On the hit TV series CSI, investigators use a substance called luminol to detect blood at crime scenes, even if it has been cleaned up. Luminol reacts with the iron in blood, producing a blue glow. Now a Dutch hospital is using it to fight infections rather than crime. When Deventer Hospital in the Netherlands had an outbreak of hepatitis C in its kidney dialysis ward, infection control practitioner Paul Bergervoet suspected that doctors and nurses were unknowingly spreading infected blood from patient to patient.

PAUL BERGERVOET (Deventer Hospital, the Netherlands):
When I was sitting on the couch at home, watching crime scene investigations, I see them use luminol and had this great idea.

HIRSHON:
Since then, the hospital has used luminol to educate its staff about the importance of changing gloves between each patient, and hepatitis C has been eliminated. I’m Bob Hirshon for AAAS, the science society.