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Improving the aseptic transfer procedures in hospital pharmacies. Part B: evaluation of disinfection methods for materials with a non-sterile surface

Boom, F. A., Le Brun, P. P. H., Boehringer, S., Kosterink, J. G. W. & Touw, D., 24-Aug-2019, In : European Journal of Hospital Pharmacy: Science and Practice. p. ejhpharm-2018-001673

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Objectives To improve the disinfection methods for materials with a non-sterile surface to be used in aseptic handling. Methods The surface bioburden on ampoules (A) and injection vials (IV) is determined by contact plates and total immersion. The occurrence of spore-forming bacteria is determined by strain colouring and matrix-assisted laser desorption ionisation-time of flight mass spectrometry. The disinfection procedures of non-sterile materials in 10 hospital pharmacies are judged by observing. Results After wiping according to local disinfection methods, the mean surface bioburden determined by contact plates in 10 hospital pharmacies is 0.36 (plastic A), 0.50 (glass A) and 0.29 colony-forming unit (cfu) (IV). The observers found great differences in accuracy of wiping and degree of wetting the sterile gauzes. After improved wiping with commercially available alcohol impregnated sterile wipes and a two-towel technique (one-step TT disinfection), the mean surface bioburden determined by contact plates is 0.03 (plastic A), 0.2 (glass A) and 0.13 cfu (IV). Further improvement can be reached by submerging A and IV in ethanol 70% followed by improved wiping (two-step TT disinfection), but still micro-organisms will remain (mean surface bioburden determined by total immersion is 0 (plastic A) and 0.3 cfu (IV); glass A not determined). Two-step TT disinfection is more labour intensive. Spilling of alcohol is another disadvantage. However, we presume one-step TT disinfection is effective enough in daily practice. Routine surface bioburden determinations have to prove this. The effectiveness of the combination of spray and wipe is not examined because we observed a quick disappearance of alcohols from vertical as well as horizontal surfaces, which shortens the contact time to far below the advised 2 min. Spore-forming bacteria disappear as quickly as other micro-organisms during disinfection by alcohols. Conclusion Local disinfection procedures can be improved. Complete removal of micro-organisms from materials with a non-sterile surface, even after two-step TT disinfection, is impossible. Routine surface bioburden determinations have to prove if one-step TT disinfection is effective enough.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)ejhpharm-2018-001673
JournalEuropean Journal of Hospital Pharmacy: Science and Practice
Publication statusPublished - 24-Aug-2019

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