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Eur J Anaesthesiol. 2013 May;30(5):216-21. doi: 10.1097/EJA.0b013e3283607827.

Chlorhexidine to maintain cleanliness of laryngoscope handles: an audit and laboratory study.

Author information

1
From the Department of Critical Care,The Queen Elizabeth Hospital, King's Lynn, Norfolk, UK. vhowell@doctors.org.uk

Abstract

CONTEXT:

Laryngoscope handles are a potential vector for infection transmission and require adequate decontamination.

OBJECTIVE:

To establish an effective cleaning regimen for laryngoscope handles.

DESIGN:

Three laboratory studies and an audit cycle.

SETTING:

The Queen Elizabeth Hospital, King's Lynn, UK.

MATERIALS:

Twenty Heine laryngoscope handles.

INTERVENTIONS:

Twenty laryngoscope handles were contaminated with microbial broth and then disinfected with chemical wipes, either using Sani-Cloth CHG 2% (chlorhexidine 2%/alcohol 70%) or Tuffie 5 wipes. This was repeated with an interval of 24 h between cleaning and contamination. A further experiment repeatedly re-contaminated the handles at varying time intervals after cleaning. The audit established the current level of contamination of laryngoscope handles within the hospital, and this was repeated following a change in cleaning protocol.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Bacterial growth on agar plates was counted as the number of colony forming units.

RESULTS:

Both Sani-Cloth CHG 2% and Tuffie 5 wipes were effective against microorganisms, including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, immediately following wiping (P = 0.002). However, the chlorhexidine wipes also had a residual effect such that after wiping, the handle remained sterile following further contamination and this effect persisted for 24 h. Audit following the introduction of this practice showed significant improvements in the incidence and extent of contamination compared with the previous disinfection practice (P<0.002).

CONCLUSION:

Decontamination with Sani-Cloth CHG 2% wipes confers additional advantages over routine autoclaving or handle disposal, due to a residual effect. Autoclaving handles may be desirable on a scheduled basis and if Clostridium difficile is encountered.

PMID:
23511956
DOI:
10.1097/EJA.0b013e3283607827
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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