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Universal Cleaning Wipes

Posted By: Indie

Universal Cleaning Wipes - 25/07/19 4:03 PM

Hi Guys
My first post so apologies if I'm covering old ground but I was wondering if any of you were experiencing issues when devices are cleaned with universal cleaning wipes ? I've got a few people who are complaining of cracked plastic casings on their ventilators, there no sign of any impact damage and the same people have told me that other devices such as syringe drivers are showing the same sort of problem. The common denominator is that they are using these wipes to clean their devices, I'm not certain that this is the cause of the problem hence my post. Any information you can provide would be gratefully received.
Posted By: Geoff Hannis

Re: Universal Cleaning Wipes - 25/07/19 5:03 PM


Welcome to the forum. smile

Yes; you can be sure that is the cause of the problem!

But meanwhile, I can't help wondering if it would also be "sweet and fitting" for the staff, having noticed the pitfalls mentioned, to revert to some earlier method of wiping over their kit.

Others have found that warm soapy water, applied with a soft cloth, does the job cheaply and efficiently; the only "downside" being the small effort required in obtaining the soap and warm water. smile

See also this earlier thread ... and this one.
Posted By: Eddie1670

Re: Universal Cleaning Wipes - 01/08/19 8:17 AM

Yes. I have a problem with infusion pumps and cases cracking. They have all cracked in exactly the same place and initially I suspected a stress fracture but the company have concluded from their investigation that it is the wipes that staff use to clean them. These wipes contain benzalkonium chloride which can attack plastic. It does specifically mention in the cleaning instructions not to use cationic surfactants (such as benzalkonium chloride). If this is the case, as these wipes contain <1% benzalkonium chloride, why does it always crack in exactly the same area? I have instructed staff to use alternative products but unfortunately these wipes are everywhere and they will always choose the easiest method of cleaning that is to hand. It is interesting to note however, that the manufacturer has now changed the makeup of the plastic they use for the case.
Posted By: Geoff Hannis

Re: Universal Cleaning Wipes - 01/08/19 12:40 PM


"Two wrongs don't make a right" (as "they" say) ... maybe the area concerned was (is) already under mechanical stress in the first place, so weakening it further with aggressive chemicals won't have helped.

Maybe we will be seeing a return to the good old days of metal pump casings. smile
Posted By: Scotsblood

Re: Universal Cleaning Wipes - 12/08/19 10:35 AM

Hi Folks,
We seem to be finding a lot of anecdotal evidence regarding possible/alleged plastic damage, if Geoff's linked post is anything to go by for almost ten years!

Locally we are finding an increasing number of items that are suffering surface degradation and even corrosion through surface coatings that users are linking to the use of pre-packaged wipes.

So, a general question, what wipes do organisations use and are you seeing damage?
Posted By: Moira

Re: Universal Cleaning Wipes - 02/09/19 10:54 AM

We've had these issues too. Newer plastics don't seem to suffer, but older ones can be badly affected. it seems that any chlorine-based wipes cause the trouble.
Our Infection Prevention team have decreed that we have to carry on using them nevertheless.
Posted By: Geoff Hannis

Re: Universal Cleaning Wipes - 02/09/19 5:58 PM


That's an interesting comment about the Infection Protection Team. It's always easy for anyone with a bit of power just to say "carry on regardless". frown

Do they - the Team, that is - have (or have they had) much success in preventing infections?

Also - what sort of "bugs" are we talking about here ... and how do the patients come into contact with them? Don't tell me they're licking infusion pumps now. crazy
Posted By: SidneyAW

Re: Universal Cleaning Wipes - 02/09/19 6:13 PM

My latest is damage to operating theatre light paintwork that has gone sticky and flaking! Major problem as about 30 sets need to be replaced
Posted By: Geoff Hannis

Re: Universal Cleaning Wipes - 02/09/19 7:02 PM


Sounds like we need some "inter-departmental co-operation" on stuff like this, guys.

How come OR lights need such "aggressive" levels of disinfection? think

Don't hospitals have proper management these days - you know, "joined up thinking"?
Posted By: Scotsblood

Re: Universal Cleaning Wipes - 03/09/19 11:43 AM

Originally Posted by Moira
We've had these issues too. Newer plastics don't seem to suffer, but older ones can be badly affected. it seems that any chlorine-based wipes cause the trouble.
Our Infection Prevention team have decreed that we have to carry on using them nevertheless.


Having tried the "joined up thinking" approach and actually meeting with the IP team and end users I think we may have made some headway against these apparently widespread ritualistic dictates!

Our currently imposed Clinell wipes contain the dreaded benzalkonium. We were able to show the IPC Team a device showing surface damage that was purchased after these wipes became the default technique.
Staff involved had already confirmed the machine has only ever been 'cleaned' using the wipes.

When we produced the manufacturers cleaning instructions showing the device has therefore been exposed to inappropriately harsh chemical 'attack' they readily conceded the cleaning regime needs urgent review!

The brief discussion that then followed drew the conclusion it may well be the case that we return to the days of warm soapy water and a damp cloth to actually clean dirty things and then only if actually indicated either 70%IPA or a sporicidal wipe if specific contamination is present.

How the carousel of healthcare turns.....

What we have found however is that as usual now we have seen the problem on a couple of devices it appears we are noticing it on others.
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