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How Often Do Hospital Patients Get Bathed?; Survey Finds Patients with Shorter Stays Less Likely to Be Bathed.

CARY, Ill. -- A recent poll/survey found that a patient's length of stay in the hospital directly affects whether a patient is bathed. At least 30 percent of respondents said they were not bathed once a day when they were admitted into the hospital for more than a week. For patients who have a hospital stay of six days or less, only a quarter, or 26 percent, were bathed by hospital staff every other day or once every three days.

"Bathing is not only about cleanliness," said Ann White, R.N., MSN, CCNS, CEN, assistant clinical professor and director at the Center for Nursing Discovery at Duke University School of Nursing. "Clinical studies have shown that bathing patients also is the best way to reduce bacteria, help prevent hospital-acquired infections and assess patients for skin breakdown that may lead to pressure ulcers."

The survey was conducted by TNS NFO, an independent research firm, that interviewed 1,000 adults who had either been hospitalized or had a family member hospitalized within the past two years. It was sponsored by Sage Products, Inc.

The study also showed that individuals who have a family member who was aware of their hospital care were more likely to be bathed by hospital staff. A majority, 56 percent, of those surveyed who had family members hospitalized for a week or more said the patient was bathed by hospital staff.

In contrast, 63 percent of those surveyed who were hospitalized themselves for a week or more said they were not bathed by hospital staff.

Gender also is an indicator of whether patients are bathed. Female respondents who reported being hospitalized were two and a half times more likely than men to receive a bath. While only nine percent of women said they were never given a bath, 23 percent of men surveyed said they were never given a bath.

Fast Facts About Bathing Patients

1. Bathing provides the best opportunity to observe skin condition, on back, buttocks and over bony prominences and observe for pressure areas, open areas, and cuts.

2. Bathing is important because it...

--allows nurses to monitor skin for breakdown

--gets rid of surface dirt and some microorganisms

--reduces body odors

--helps stimulate circulation

3. A recent poll conducted at the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology annual meeting found that 88 percent of practitioners consider patient bathing to be an important component of an infection control program.

4. National nursing shortage trends have forced facilities to recognize nursing labor as limited and increasingly valuable resource, especially with its proven correlation to patient satisfaction outcomes. A single basin bath consumes an average of 20 to 30 minutes of nursing time from preparation through cleanup, which often includes changing wet bed linens.

About Sage Products Inc.

Sage Products, Inc. is a developer and manufacturer of innovative health care products used by medical professionals and consumers. Headquartered in Illinois, the business has been in operation since 1971, when it launched its first products. Sage has followed its philosophy of "follow the patient" to become a major manufacturer. Sage's health care line includes products designed for bathing, incontinence care, shampoo, oral care, gowns, cabinets, gloves and accessories. The retail line consists of products designed for bathing, shampooing, incontinence care and oral care. For more information about Sage Products, visit the company's Web site at

About TNS NFO. TNS NFO is part of TNS, one of the world's leading market information groups. It provides market measurement, analysis and insight through our global network of operating companies in 70 countries. Working with national and multi-national organizations, TNS helps clients to develop effective business strategies and enhance relationships with their customers. In July 2003, the group merged with NFO WorldGroup, Inc. Further information on TNS can be found at
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Dec 7, 2004
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