Medical Equipment Contaminants – Measures to Control

One of the problems faced during maintenance of medical equipment is that they are contaminated by microorganisms like bacteria, fungi and virus. Despite taking precautions, medical equipment are still not free from microorganisms.

Medical equipment can be contaminated during its usage, like when manufacturing, at hospitals and also at home. Major contaminants of medical equipment are MRSA (methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus) a bacterial strain resistant to antibiotic methicillin.

It has become difficult to eliminate bacteria from medical equipment because they are showing resistance to antibiotics and disinfectants used in treatment due to their spores.

Following are the measures to be taken to control these contaminants.

Use of antibacterial coating – It is specific to manufacturers, as coating the medical equipment with BIOcloak (antibacterial) will eliminate spores of bacteria, which are the main causes of contamination. It is 99.9% effective against bacterial spores. Specially MRSA (methicillin resistant staphylococcus).

Sterilization – It is the process of eliminating microorganisms like bacteria. It can eliminate most bacteria.

Maintain hands neat and clean – After contact with body fluids, make sure hands are cleaned using sanitizers and disinfectants because, if personnel operating equipment touch medical equipment without cleaning hands, it may spread bacteria from hands to equipment leading to cross contamination.

Wear gloves – Before attending any surgeries or tube insertions, clean hands and wear gloves to ensure hygiene and to prevent cross contamination of medical equipment. Use face masks while working in laboratories to ensure individual safety as well as equipment safety.

Proper handling of patient’s equipment – It include clothes, body fluids, monitors, food, etc. Discourage reuse of medical devices like syringes, needles, etc. Use only disposables. Don’t use one patient’s equipment to another patient, it spreads contamination to both equipment and patient.

Proper cleaning of laboratory equipment – equipment like centrifuges, refrigerators are used to store some chemicals. Make sure they are often cleaned with disinfectants like 10% bleach solution+water or 70% ethanol.

Conducting awareness program to workers – Awareness programs have to be conducted to explain about precautions to be taken while handling equipment, doing tests, handling patients and also self care. This will avoid most of cross contamination.

Food given to patients have to be checked – Contamination can also spread through food sources. Only sealed and sterilized food should be given to patients, if the food is unhygienic it will contain microbes that spread from one person to other and when they touch the hospital equipment, they get contaminated.

Proper washing of clothes – Patient’s clothes should be washed properly and dipped in disinfectant solutions to ensure clothes are free from bacteria.

Maintaining hygienic conditions, avoiding cross contamination, eliminating sources of contamination can protect medical equipment against biological contaminants.