Radiology imaging equipment and accessories as possible fomites of nosocomial pathogens
Keywords:radiographer, fomites, infection control, nosocomial infections, cleaning, equipment
Introduction: Radiology is a technical service that provides medical imaging for all sectors of healthcare. Hospital-acquired infections (HAIs) is a major challenge in radiology and this is exacerbated in contexts where the healthcare system is unable to provide adequate funding and attention to effective infection control measures. The objectives of this study were to audit current cleaning procedures through the observation of practices in a radiology department, and to determine the types and numbers of nosocomial pathogens present on selected radiology imaging equipment and accessories before and after decontamination.
Methodology: In phase one we observed seven radiographers to audit cleaning procedures and practices. In phase two we collected swab samples from selected radiology imaging equipment and accessories and then cultured them for identification of microbes.
Results: It was observed that radiographers partially practiced infection control measures. This was due to the absence of documented protocol for infection control procedures. Our results indicated that all the selected equipment and accessories were contaminated with microorganisms pre- and post-cleaning. The identified microbes were Staphylococcus aureus, Coagulase negative Staphylococci (CoNS), Bacillus species (spp.), Shigella spp., Shigella sonnei., Klebsiella spp., Salmonella paratyphi A (S. paratyphi A), Salmonella typhi (S. typhi), Providencia rettgeri, Enterobacter spp. and Citrobacter spp. and Methicillin resistant strains of Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).
Conclusions: The research concluded that the recommended cleaning agents did not effectively reduce the number of microorganisms making the selected equipment and accessories fomites for nosocomial pathogens.
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