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Rehabil Nurs. 1993 Sep-Oct;18(5):292-5.

Decontamination of vinyl urinary drainage bags with bleach.


The purpose of the study described here was to investigate whether vinyl urinary leg and bed bags used for a 4-week period in the acute rehabilitation setting could be safely reused after having been decontaminated daily with a diluted bleach rinse. Rehabilitation patients who had bladder dysfunction and used vinyl urinary drainage bags (N = 88) were randomly assigned to control (C) and experimental (E) groups; 54 patients completed the study. Group C's bags were replaced weekly; group E's were replaced after 4 weeks. The bags of patients in both groups were decontaminated in identical fashion each day. On the patient's admission to the study, a baseline assessment was completed, a urine culture was obtained, and sterile drainage equipment was provided. Each week for 4 weeks, urine and bag characteristics and signs and symptoms of urinary tract infection were noted. No statistically significant differences (p < .5) were found between the groups. There were no clinical signs of infection requiring treatment, no changes in bag appearance or integrity, and no infection outbreaks associated with a single urinary tract pathogen that would indicate cross-contamination.

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