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J Hosp Infect. 1989 Jan;13(1):27-31.

Infection risks from electrically operated breast pumps.

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  • 1Department of Bacteriology, Royal Postgraduate Medical School, Hammersmith Hospital, London.


Using formula milk seeded with Staphylococcus epidermidis as indicator, bacteria were observed to pass beyond the collecting bottles of three electrically operated breast pumps. Bacteria were recovered from sites distal to the level of visible contamination, the incidence increasing with repeated use of the apparatus. Despite use of a sterile collecting bottle, retrograde contamination of freshly collected milk may occur from previously contaminated components of the pumps. The results suggest that a terminal in-line air filter is essential to ensure aerosols containing potentially pathogenic bacteria do not contaminate the suction source or be emitted to the environment with the exhaust air. Where a single pump is used by more than one person adequate sterilization of all removable components is essential.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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