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Guidance Offered for Infection Control in Anesthesia Work Area

Measures include hand hygiene, alcohol-based hand rub use, disinfection of anesthesia machine

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 12, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Recommendations have been developed for promotion of infection prevention policies in operating room (OR) anesthesia work areas; the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America guidance document was published online Dec. 11 in Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology.

L. Silvia Munoz-Price, M.D., Ph.D., from the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, and colleagues developed recommendations specific to the anesthesia work area to improve infection prevention. They note that the OR is a challenging environment in which to effect ideal infection prevention and control practices.

The authors recommend that at a minimum, hand hygiene (HH) should be performed before aseptic tasks, after removing gloves, when hands are contaminated or soiled, before touching the contents of the anesthesia cart, and when entering or leaving the OR. Providers should consider wearing double gloves during airway management; the outer gloves should be removed immediately and inner gloves should be removed as soon as possible followed by HH. To promote frequent HH and potentially decrease the incidence of health care-associated infections, alcohol-based hand rub dispensers should be located at the entrances to ORs and near anesthesia providers within the OR. High-touch surfaces on the anesthesia machine and work area should be cleaned and disinfected between uses.

“The authors encourage investment in research to better understand the infection prevention and control problems posed by the anesthesia work station and to develop design improvements that reduce the risk of infection,” the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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