Document Detail

A comparison of two methods for preventing cross-contamination when using flexible fiberoptic endoscopes in an otolaryngology clinic: disposable sterile sheaths versus immersion in germicidal liquid.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  21046544     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
OBJECTIVES/HYPOTHESIS: To assess the efficacy of using a sterile sheath to prevent cross-contamination when using a fiberoptic nasopharnygolaryngoscope (FNPL) in an otolaryngology clinic.
STUDY DESIGN: Prospective controlled trial.
METHODS: All FNPLs were disinfected according to applicable current guidelines recommended by the US Center for Disease Control. Swabs were taken from multiple sites on 100 FNPLs for cultures to detect the presence of bacteria, viruses, or both. Each FNPL was then assigned to either the sheath alone (experimental) or germicidal immersion (control) group. After using an FNPL in a patient, swabs were again taken so that a comparison could be made in microbes on the scopes. Throughout the study, the steps in the disinfection process taken by medical assistants as they worked with the FNPLs were observed and recorded.
RESULTS: Microbial counts on insertion shafts of FNLPs for the sheath and immersion groups were similar, with 1/50 versus 0/50, respectively. Time spent using the sheath method averaged 89 seconds, whereas immersion in the germicidal liquid took 14 minutes. No breaches in adherence to applicable protocols were observed.
CONCLUSIONS: Using an individually packaged disposable sterile sheath on a FNLP prevents microbes from adhering to the shaft of the scope, thus providing a reasonably safe method of avoiding the transmission of infection from one patient to the next patient when using an FNLP successively in multiple patients in an otolaryngology clinic.
Alphi Elackattu; Mary Zoccoli; Jeffrey H Spiegel; Kenneth M Grundfast
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Comparative Study; Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  The Laryngoscope     Volume:  120     ISSN:  1531-4995     ISO Abbreviation:  Laryngoscope     Publication Date:  2010 Dec 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2010-11-25     Completed Date:  2011-01-20     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8607378     Medline TA:  Laryngoscope     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  2410-6     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Cross Infection / prevention & control*
Disinfectants / pharmacology*
Disposable Equipment
Equipment Contamination / prevention & control*
Hospitals, Special*
Optical Fibers*
Sterilization / methods*
Reg. No./Substance:

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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