CJEM Articles: contamination
Displaying 1-2 of 2 results
Catherine Erickson, Geoffrey E. Sanz, John L. Kendall, Jonathan Theoret, Michael M. Liao
Objectives: As ultrasonography is increasingly used in the emergency department (ED), ultrasound equipment has become a potential threat to infection control. Improperly cleaned ultrasound probes may serve as a vector for pathogens such as methicillin-resistant
(MRSA). The primary objective of this study was to determine the prevalence of MRSA colonization on ultrasound probes used in a busy, urban ED. It was hypothesized that cultures of our ED ultrasound probes would yield a significant number of positive results for MRSA.
Methods: In this observational study, 11 ED ultrasound probes were randomly sampled on 10 different occasions. Samples were taken using a RODAC plate method and were cultured for MRSA and methicillin-sensitive
(MSSA). On half of the randomly assigned sampling occasions, a visual inspection of each ultrasound probe for general cleanliness was conducted and recorded. Data were stratified by ultrasound location in the ED and analyzed using the Fisher exact test, with
< 0.05 deemed to be statistically significant.
Results: Of 110 samples, no isolates of MRSA were cultured. One probe yielded a positive culture for MSSA. Probes in the medicine, trauma, and pediatrics areas were found to be clean 65%, 33%, and 70% of the time, respectively. This variability in probe cleanliness by ED location was found to be statistically significant (
Conclusions: Contrary to our hypothesis, MRSA contamination of ultrasound probes was not found. This finding suggests that the spread of MRSA by ED ultrasound machines in a high-volume urban ED is unlikely. Further research at different centres with larger sample sizes is required before these results can be generalized.
Examination of staphylococcal stethoscope contamination in the emergency department (pilot) study (EXSSCITED pilot study)July 2011 13 4Andrew Worster, Cheryl L. Main, Jocelyn A. Srigley, Patrick H.P. Tang
Introduction: The objective of this study was to determine the prevalence of Staphylococcus-contaminated stethoscopes belonging to emergency department (ED) staff and to identify the proportion of these that were Staphylococcus aureus or methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).
Methods: We conducted a prospective observational cohort study of bacterial cultures from 100 ED staff members' stethoscopes at three EDs. Study participants were asked to complete a questionnaire.
Results: Fifty-four specimens grew coagulase-negative staphylococci and one grew methicillin-susceptible S. aureus. No MRSA was cultured. Only 8% of participants, all of whom were nurses, reported cleaning their stethoscope before or after each patient assessment. Alcohol-based wipes were most commonly used to clean stethoscopes. A lack of time, being too busy, and forgetfulness were the most frequently reported reasons for not cleaning the stethoscope in the ED.
Conclusions: This study indicates that although stethoscope contamination rates in these EDs are high, the prevalence of S. aureus or MRSA on stethoscopes is low.