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Does blood on “dirty” instruments interfere with the effectiveness of sterilization technologies?

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  21 May 2021

William A. Rutala*
Affiliation:
Division of Infectious Diseases, University of North Carolina School of Medicine, Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Maria F. Gergen
Affiliation:
Department of Hospital Epidemiology, University of North Carolina Medical Center, Chapel Hill, North Carolina
David J. Weber
Affiliation:
Division of Infectious Diseases, University of North Carolina School of Medicine, Chapel Hill, North Carolina Department of Hospital Epidemiology, University of North Carolina Medical Center, Chapel Hill, North Carolina
*
Author for correspondence: William A. Rutala, E-mail: brutala@med.unc.edu

Abstract

We evaluated the robustness of sterilization technologies when spores and bacteria were placed on “dirty” instruments and overlaid with blood. The results illustrate that steam sterilization is the most effective sterilization technology with the largest margin of safety, followed by ethylene oxide and hydrogen peroxide gas plasma.

Type
Concise Communication
Copyright
© The Author(s), 2021. Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of The Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America

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Footnotes

PREVIOUS PRESENTATION. Part of these data were presented as an abstract at the Sixth Decennial International Conference on Healthcare-Associated Infections, March 2020, held virtually (abstract published in ICHE 2020;41 suppl 1).

References

Rutala, WA, Weber, DJ and HICPAC. Guideline for disinfection and sterilization in healthcare facilities, 2008. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. https://www.cdc.gov/infectioncontrol/pdf/guidelines/disinfection-guidelines-H.pdf. Published 2008. Accessed January 2021.Google Scholar
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Rutala, WA, Gergen, MF, Weber, DJ. Impact of an oil-based lubricant on the effectiveness of the sterilization processes. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 2008;29:6972.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Rutala, WA, Gergen, MF, Sickbert-Bennett, EE, Weber, DJ. Comparative evaluation of the microbicidal activity of low-temperature sterilization technologies to steam sterilization. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 2020;41:391395.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Diab-Elschahawi, M, Blacky, A, Bachhofner, N, Koller, W. Challenging the Sterrad 100 NX sterilizer with different carrier materials and wrappings under experimental “clean” and “dirty” conditions. Am J Infect Control 2010;38:806810.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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Rutala, WA, Kanamori, H, Sickbert-Bennett, EE, Weber, DJ. Reprocessing endoscopes: are we going to ensure “the needs of the patient come first” by shifting from disinfection to sterilization? Am J Infect Control 2019;47:A62A66.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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Reprocessing medical devices in healthcare settings: validation methods and labeling. Food and Drug Administration website. https://www.fda.gov/media/80265/download. Published March 17, 2015. Accessed January 2021.Google Scholar
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