Im a nurse in Sydney, Australia and would like some opinions on an infection control matter.
I noticed that one of my colleagues has been using a plastic bucket/tub to wash patients leg wounds with. These tubs are being used amongst multiple patients.
The way in which she washes the tub is :
(1) Washes the tub with water and a product called 3M Avagard(TM) Antiseptic Hand and Body Wash with Chlorhexidine Gluconate 2%w/w. She then wipes it dry with a towel.
(2) Wipes the tub with Clinell Universal wipes which contain Benzalkoniumchloride, Didecyl dimethylammonium chloride and Polyhexamethylenebiguanide (PHMB).
The tubs are then allowed to dry and are stacked on top of each other.
From my understanding, as the tubs are in contact with non intact skin, a high level of disinfection is required either thermally or chemically which this cleaning procedure does not meet.
I am highly concerned as I believe there is a high risk of cross contamination. I will be discussing this with the NUM first thing in the morning.
Would love to hear everyones opinions on this matter.
Mar 11, '16
And you would be right. There is definitely a risk for cross transmission. Are these tubs expensive? I'm trying to understand the reason they are being reprocessed. In the U.S. we give each patient their own wash tub, toothbrush and basin upon admission. Although, we do allow patients to use BSC's that are, in theory, disinfected between patients. And with C. diff running rampant, this too can be problematic. And in light of these folks having open wounds with the potential for some nasty bugs inside them, I would recommend individual tubs. If cost is a factor, I would than recommend cleaning and then disinfecting with something like bleach or other EPA registered disinfectant allowed in Hospitals. Also, the disinfectant must have a dwell time and you will find that information on the container, as well as the microorganisms it kills. Good eye!