Dropping tele cables on floor before cleaning

  1. A common hospital practice is to drop used tele cables on the floor before cleaning. It seems this practice makes the cable dirtier. I was wondering if dropping used tele cables on the floor before wiping it clean increases the chances of infection? I can't find any articles on the topic. Thanks Tony
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    About tonytayag

    Joined: Oct '13; Posts: 3; Likes: 1


  3. by   Okami_CCRN
    That is not a common practice where I work, telemetry cables where I work are disconnected from the monitor and sent to Central Supply for cleaning.
  4. by   nynursey_
    We sent our telemetry cables back with the boxes disinfected with our equipment wipes. Beyond that, I'm not sure where the telemetry boxes or cables go for cleaning once they hit the ICU. It's sort of prompted me to find out, though. I know we received a pretty extensive email detailing that it is the RN's job to disinfect them and place them in specimen bags before sending them back to the ICU for re-use.
  5. by   ICU56
    I doubt that there is much of a difference in "dirtiness" but I wouldn't toss tele cables on the floor more out of fear of causing damage than anything else.

    I would believe that the manner in which they are cleaned is going to make more of a difference in decreasing infection risk of tele cables. Interestingly there are many studies linking HAI to the cables.

    Microbial contamination of manually reprocessed, ready to use ECG lead wire in intensive care units
    "A total of 408 ECG lead wires from 93 bed-side ECG devices and 43 ECG lead wires from 5 portable ECG devices were sampled. All sampled ECG lead wires had been previously manually cleaned and disinfected and were ready to use, however, some of them were visibly dirty and remnants were left on the filter paper. Of 451 lead wires, only 2 lead wires were without contamination..."

    Our monitor techs clean them between uses, but I wish we would switch to disposable lead sets.
    Last edit by ICU56 on Feb 11, '14 : Reason: Spelling
  6. by   Mulan
    I took this as being a facetious post, but maybe not.
  7. by   blondy2061h
    Our cables are disposable up to about the 3 feet closest to the monitor.
  8. by   TU RN
    I smell a troll...
  9. by   RNGriffin
    Wendy Williams Voice....How you doiiiiiinnnnnn!!!!!!!!
  10. by   Aurora77
    As long as you abide by the 5 second rule, they'll be clean.
  11. by   brownbook
    It is not ideal, we (I) don't do it on purpose. We don't intentionally "drop" them on the floor!

    Our tele cables are long, we don't remove them from the monitor. When the patient has left and we are cleaning we (I) take the cables in one hand, have a cleaning wipe in the other. Because the cables are long the end can accidentally hit the floor as I hold them up to wipe them.

    Hopefully a good wipe with our cleanser takes care of any bugs that survive the 5 second rule?
  12. by   tonytayag
    Thanks [COLOR=#003366]AW-EMTP for the research article. I work in PACU with a high patient turnover and use non-disposable tele cables. Nurses typically drop the tele cables on the floor to notify techs that it needs to be cleaned. This practice seems unsanitary to me and only increases the chance of acquiring more pathogens. Unfortunately, I'm having difficulty changing the behavior of the staff.
  13. by   MunoRN
    To be honest I'd be more worried about the tele cables contaminating the floor than the other way around.
  14. by   dandk1997RN
    We put our used cables and boxes in a basket near the monitor station. Much more sanitary way to let someone know they need to be cleaned...

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