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Posted By: SaraS Fluid Ingress during cleaning - 11/03/11 10:08 AM
Most equipment manufactures advise you to use a damp cloth when cleaning their equipment.
This was no problem up until the end of last year as we used soft cloths, detergent, and hot water to clean our equipment.
We have now been moved over to a commercial pre-made wet wipe, which is meant to be suitable for use with equipment.
My concern is that these wipes are very wet and soapy and even wringing them out does little to make them less wet. When used they leave the equipment visible and touchable wet and soapy The equipment also takes time to dry especially the underneath if sat on a trolley/shelf. We never had this problem with the old method unless staff were carless.
The company recommend that the cleaned item is allowed to air dry.
Because the wipes are so wet and the kit isn't dried, I am concerned that the equipment may suffer from fluid ingress and corrosion over time.
Is this a possibility or am I worrying unnecessarily?
Has anyone used a commercial wet wipes for a long period and noticed any ingress or lack of?
Many thanks
Posted By: Geoff Hannis Re: Fluid Ingress during cleaning - 12/03/11 4:45 PM

Why not simply return to the status quo ante?

I often make good use of gauze swabs dabbed into methylated spirits, myself. And yes, the time-honoured method of cleaning cases (especially after stripping kit down) using hot soapy water often brings them up looking like new! Can't get much cheaper than that. smile
Posted By: SaraS Re: Fluid Ingress during cleaning - 14/03/11 11:00 AM
Would love to return to the old ways but all sorts of issues plus commercial wipes are very convenient. The only way we are likely to is if my concerns regarding fluid ingress are valid and we are unable to find a drier wipe
Posted By: Moira Re: Fluid Ingress during cleaning - 14/03/11 2:32 PM
Most equipment is pretty well sealed, to stop blood and fluids leaking in, in normal use. But I agree it's not desirable to have equipment sitting around wet and soapy. Easy to drop when picked up for one thing! Perhaps the procedure could be altered to allow drying the thing with a paper towel after cleaning. Or following the soap wipe with an alcohol wipe - these don't remove blood etc so well but are fine for a final decontamination, and dry off quickly.

Posted By: RoJo Re: Fluid Ingress during cleaning - 15/03/11 7:55 AM
Be casreful about using alcohol wipes, it can degrade and cause certain plastics - especially clear ones - to craze over time.
Ring the wet wipe out a little before use? or as Moira says dry it with a paper towel.
Posted By: Geoff Hannis Re: Fluid Ingress during cleaning - 15/03/11 9:07 AM

Nursing and medical staff should be "encouraged" to wipe off any mess* as and when it arises ... other than that, (in my opinion) cleaning into the nooks and crannies of equipment is best left to folk who know what they are doing (ie, the technicians). By that I mean having a clue which cleansing agent to use in each case, etc. Not to mention having regard for how much all that stuff actually costs!

It often takes a bit of time (and tools) to do a thorough job. And I have never yet come across staff in any so-called Equipment Library who did not appear ... er, harried.

Also, it is easy enough for staff to scribble out a "Decontamination Certificate" (especially when the kit is already clean, more or less). But does anyone take those as "gospel"? I certainly never have.

"Wet Wipes" are not the answer. As has already been mentioned, they are too wet! For a "quick wipe over" to render equipment "socially clean", the time-honoured Damp Cloth (soft, lint-free if you want to get fussy) is the way to go. For anything more than that, try a little hot soapy water. But for anything more stubborn ... it's off to the workshop it goes! Rocket Science it ain't! smile

* Eg, blood is easily wiped (mopped?) up before it dries.
Posted By: Moira Re: Fluid Ingress during cleaning - 15/03/11 2:19 PM
Rojo is quite right, I admit I was thinking of heavy instrument casing, not screens and clear cases.

And I'm sure you're right, Geoff, but possibly the shelves in Southampton General's Service section are already loaded with equipment awaiting service and repair, and they may not want to add cleaning to their workload. I bet SaraS is doing the best job she can, with the means provided.
Posted By: Geoff Hannis Re: Fluid Ingress during cleaning - 15/03/11 3:44 PM

Better let me spend a week down there, then. I expect that's all it would take to put matters right. Sometimes you just have to crack the whip a few times! whistle

Here are a couple of pointers:-

1) Don't accept equipment back into the Library if it appears dirty.

2) There are lots of nurses, but very few "Librarians".

3) Get the biomeds to bill the Wards (etc.) for any time spent on cleaning equipment.
Posted By: KM Re: Fluid Ingress during cleaning - 21/03/11 1:08 PM
Have you tried getting your control of infection bods involved.
We use a wipe that is approved across the whole site.
Its not to wet / but wet enough.
It is difinfectant / alcohol free but is a Central supplies item recommended for medical equipment.
After involving control of infection we have very few (if any) problems here.
Posted By: SaraS Re: Fluid Ingress during cleaning - 22/03/11 8:00 AM
Geoff, I'm confused.
Pointer 1
In your earlier post you seem to be saying that only the technicans can clean equipment properly but in this post that the User should be cleaning it properly before returning it to the Library?

Pointer 2
The Library staff are more likely to make a better job as I would say the clinical areas are more 'harried' than us. Its the Libraries staff job to manage and look after the equipment, whereas its only one part of the nurses role. The Library has cleaning areas with cleaning stations at the right height that enable you to rest the kit on so you can see it to clean it properly all over, undisturbed by patients.
Very different form a ward setting where the only place to clean it is next to the bed or in the corridor, with the item on a drip pole, patients (low)table or resting on the edge of the sink or even your hip and if you want to check and clean the base you have to either go down on your knees or hold it and turn it upside down. Not ideal for making a good job or from a manual handling point of view.
Our clinical areas use the same wipes as the Library and the Library recleans anything it puts into use.

Pointer 3
If the biomeds are the only ones that can clean the equipment properly its hardly fair to bill the clinical areas for time spent on cleaning

I know clinical staff are not always great at cleaning equipment but I also think EBME staff can be very quick to criticise and dont always appriciate that what may seem a simple job isn't so simple to carry out in a clinical environment.
Posted By: Geoff Hannis Re: Fluid Ingress during cleaning - 22/03/11 8:48 AM

Your points are well made, but it looks like you've misunderstood mine.

Briefly, there is no excuse for kit coming back from the wards in a grossly contaminated state. Yes, the library may well be resourced for general cleaning (although some I have seen clearly aren't), but some cleaning involves the use of tools (and that usually means the biomeds). smile
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