oa Southern African Journal of Anaesthesia and Analgesia - Microorganisms cultured from laryngoscope blades in an academic hospital following implementation of a new decontamination technique : congress prize abstracts

Volume 21, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 2220-1181
  • E-ISSN: 2220-1173



Laryngoscopy is a commonly performed invasive procedure in hospitals, especially in theatre. Lack of formal guidelines and variation of utilised decontamination techniques have resulted in a breach of ensuring patient safety in hospitals. Multiple international and local studieshave found microorganism contamination of laryngoscope blades.
The aim of this study was to describe the effectiveness of a newly implemented decontamination protocol for reusable laryngoscope bladesat Helen Joseph Hospital.
A prospective, contextual, comparative, descriptive study design was used. A single area on the size 4 blades in the two emergency theatres was swabbed in an aseptic manner. After transport to the laboratory, the samples were inoculated onto petri film and blood agar plates. Following 48 hours of aerobic incubation, plates were examined for colonies with subsequent enumeration and identification of microorganisms. The samples were collected over a two month period.
Five control samples were collected, all of which had no microorganism growth. Of the 73 samples collected, four samples were misplacedby the laboratory with no results recovered. Positive quantitative counts were reported on eight (11.6%) samples, with only two (2.9%) samples having positive microorganism growth and identification and 67 (97.1%) samples reporting no microorganism growth. The two microorganisms isolated were and . This shows the effectiveness of the new decontamination technique, with a p-value < 0.0001.
The reduction in positive microorganism contamination by high-level disinfection with Cidex® OPA will improve patient safety and decrease the potential risk of cross infection. Formal decontamination protocols using a high-level disinfectant should be implemented at all hospitals.

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