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Clin Lab Sci. 2010 Summer;23(3):151-6.

Acinetobacter baumannii and MRSA contamination on reusable phlebotomy tourniquets.

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59h Clinical Research Division, Lackland AFB, TX 78236-9908, USA.



A study was undertaken to determine the incidence of Acinetobacter baumannii and methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) contamination on reusable phlebotomy tourniquets at Wilford Hall Medical Center, Lackland AFB, TX.


Reusable tourniquets (n=200) were collected after being used for one day in the outpatient blood collection center (n=100) or during morning blood collection rounds on inpatient wards (n=100). Tourniquets were cultured and growth was screened for A. baumannii and S. aureus. A. baumannii isolates were identified using colonial morphology, oxidase, and GNI+ card on Vitek Legacy. S. aureus isolates were identified and screened for MRSA using colonial morphology, catalase, Staphaurex, and Oxacillin screening agar.


Each outpatient tourniquet was used on an average of 33 patients and each inpatient tourniquet was used on an average of 11 patients. The overall contamination rate was 9% (18/200). A. baumannii was isolated from 11% (11/100) of the outpatient tourniquets and 3% (3/100) of the inpatient tourniquets. Methicillin-susceptible S. aureus was isolated from 2% (2/100) of the outpatient tourniquets and 3% (3/100) of the inpatient tourniquets. No MRSA was isolated. One ou'tpatient tourniquet had both A. baumannii and methicillin-susceptible S. aureus.


Reusable tourniquets could serve as a potential reservoir for bacterial pathogens.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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