Efficacy of decontamination method for blood pressure cuffs used in hospital

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Efficacy of decontamination method for blood pressure cuffs used in hospital


Author: Lee, Suet-yi
Title: Efficacy of decontamination method for blood pressure cuffs used in hospital
Degree: M.Sc.
Year: 2010
Subject: Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Disinfection and disinfectants
Microbial contamination -- Prevention
Blood pressure -- Measurement
Department: Faculty of Health and Social Sciences
Pages: x, 109 leaves : ill. ; 30 cm.
InnoPac Record: http://library.polyu.edu.hk/record=b2356827
URI: http://theses.lib.polyu.edu.hk/handle/200/5678
Abstract: Background: Medical equipment has been suggested as a vehicle for person-to-person transmission of pathogens. Surfaces, especially those frequently touched, provided repeated opportunities for cross-transmission of pathogenic organisms to patients. Immune-comprised patients are at particular risk. The blood pressure cuff is a piece of medical equipment in regular use and therefore frequently handled by carers and patients. To date, the research output on the level of contamination and the efficacy of decontamination methods for blood pressure cuffs in hospitals is limited. Aim: The aim of this study was to evaluate and compare the efficacy of the four decontamination methods in reducing the bacterial contamination of blood pressure cuffs used in hospital. Methodology: This experimental study was designed into two phases. In phase I, the decontamination method with the highest bacterial reduction and the least amount of time required for the decontamination process was chosen to progress to the next phase of the study. In phase II, the level of contamination, including multi-drug resistant organisms, MRSA, MRAB, of the hospital blood pressure cuffs was assessed. The efficacy of the decontamination method was further evaluated in the clinical environment. Results : The BP cuffs were heavily contaminated during daily use. The isoprophyl alcohol spray demonstrated significantly effect on both MRSA and MRAB in phase I of the study. It also showed significant effect in decontaminating both inner (1.21 x10² ± 12.11 cfu/cm²) and outer surfaces (0.783 x10² ± 29.18 cfu/cm²) of BP cuffs in hospital, with 92.8% and 84% bacterial reduction respectively. Discussion: The alcohol spray decontamination method demonstrated statistical significance in efficiency for reducing bacterial contamination of the BP cuff surfaces. However, the cuff surface was found to have microscopic crevices favoring bacterial retention, which affected the penetration of disinfectant. The choice of material for medical equipment and the method of decontamination should be considered. Conclusion: The BP cuff is a noncritical item of medical equipment. Although the epidemiological link between the contaminated equipment and healthcare associated infection could not be established, the potential risk of cross transmission should not be ignored. The development of adequate cleaning protocols is necessary in all clinical areas.

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