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Survey Finds Dirty Money a Health Hazard in Hospitals

A Cork PhD student has revealed just how dirty our currency is with the first study of its kind on the Euro currency.

PhD student Emma Gabriel’s findings have prompted calls for hospitals to move to Cashless Payment systems to help prevent the spread of bacteria on euro notes and coins.

Petri Dish

97% of Notes were found to be carrying infectious bacteria

Ms Gabriel spent a year testing 155 notes collected from numerous different retail outlets, of this sample 150 notes an incredible 97% tested positive for Staphylococci a collection of bacteria that lives on the skin.

The notes were then tested for 10 of the most common first-line and second-line antibiotics on the bacteria, which were grown from the currency and found that almost two-thirds of the bacteria were anti-biotic resistant. The study also found that the bacteria was able to survive on the banknotes for up to 19 days.

Dr. O’Mahony, Ms. Gabriel’s research supervisor, stated following the study he would encourage the introduction of cashless payment systems into hospitals and nursing homes.

“These are high-risk patients who are susceptible to infection and the fact that people are bringing bank notes that contain bacteria into hospital is not good practice,” he said.

“It would be safer not to handle banknotes in a hospital setting.”

Dualtron are Ireland’s leading provider of Cashless Payment Systems, supporting over 100 sites throughout the country. Many Dualtron customers have long recognised the hygiene benefits by using our cashless payment system and this study further proves that Dualtron systems helps minimise the spread of infection within an organisation.

Read the Irish Examiner’s coverage of the story here


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