Peripheral intravenous catheter needleless connector decontamination study
Needle-stick injuries in healthcare works are a serious issue that pose a risk of transmission of blood borne viruses such as HIV and hepatitis viruses. To reduce the risk of Needle-stick injuries, needleless connectors (NC) were developed. However, NCs are not without their own set of issues. The use of NCs has been associated with an increase in patient blood-stream infections (BSI).
Evidence suggests that this is due to the design of the NC impacting ease of decontamination, as compliance with NC decontamination guidelines. Current recommended disinfectants for NC decontamination are 70% isopropyl alcohol (IPA) and chlorhexidine gluconate (CHG) in 70% IPA.
Unfortunately, there is limited evidence regarding the efficacy of the decontaminant used, and the ideal decontamination time.. AVATAR researchers recently investigated this issue to better understand the process. This was achieved through testing two decontaminants, with varying decontamination times in the clinical environment.
Results indicated there was overall no significant difference in scrub times of 5, 10, and 15 seconds, but that even a 15 second decontamination scrub did not always remove all micro-organisms (98% decontamination success rate). There was also no statistical difference between 70% IPA and 2% CHG in 70% IPA in terms of their efficacy in decontaminating NCs.
The results of this study may be useful for future decisions regarding decontamination protocols and may offer some guidance to nurses already short on time regarding how long is appropriate for decontamination.
If you are interested in reading further, the paper is available from the following link: https://s3-ap-southeast-2.amazonaws.com/wh1.thewebconsole.com/wh/4798/images/peripheral-intravenous-catheter-decontamination-randomised-controlled.pdf