Bacterial contamination and cleanliness of emergency department ultrasound probes

Geoffrey E. Sanz, Jonathan Theoret, Michael M. Liao, Catherine Erickson, John L. Kendall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objectives: As ultrasonography is increasingly used in the emergency department (ED), ultrasound equipment has become a potential threat to infection control. Improperly cleaned ultrasound probes may serve as a vector for pathogens such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). The primary objective of this study was to determine the prevalence of MRSA colonization on ultrasound probes used in a busy, urban ED. It was hypothesized that cultures of our ED ultrasound probes would yield a significant number of positive results for MRSA. Methods: In this observational study, 11 ED ultrasound probes were randomly sampled on 10 different occasions. Samples were taken using a RODAC plate method and were cultured for MRSA and methicillin-sensitive Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA). On half of the randomly assigned sampling occasions, a visual inspection of each ultrasound probe for general cleanliness was conducted and recorded. Data were stratified by ultrasound location in the ED and analyzed using the Fisher exact test, with p ≤ 0.05 deemed to be statistically significant. Results: Of 110 samples, no isolates of MRSA were cultured. One probe yielded a positive culture for MSSA. Probes in the medicine, trauma, and pediatrics areas were found to be clean 65%, 33%, and 70% of the time, respectively. This variability in probe cleanliness by ED location was found to be statistically significant (p ≤ 0.01). Conclusions: Contrary to our hypothesis, MRSA contamination of ultrasound probes was not found. This finding suggests that the spread of MRSA by ED ultrasound machines in a high-volume urban ED is unlikely. Further research at different centres with larger sample sizes is required before these results can be generalized.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)384-389
Number of pages6
JournalCanadian Journal of Emergency Medicine
Volume13
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2011
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus
Hospital Emergency Service
Methicillin
Staphylococcus aureus
Infection Control
Sample Size
Observational Studies
Ultrasonography
Medicine
Pediatrics
Equipment and Supplies
Wounds and Injuries
Research

Keywords

  • Contamination
  • Methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus
  • Mrsa
  • Ultrasound

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine

Cite this

Bacterial contamination and cleanliness of emergency department ultrasound probes. / Sanz, Geoffrey E.; Theoret, Jonathan; Liao, Michael M.; Erickson, Catherine; Kendall, John L.

In: Canadian Journal of Emergency Medicine, Vol. 13, No. 6, 11.2011, p. 384-389.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Sanz, Geoffrey E. ; Theoret, Jonathan ; Liao, Michael M. ; Erickson, Catherine ; Kendall, John L. / Bacterial contamination and cleanliness of emergency department ultrasound probes. In: Canadian Journal of Emergency Medicine. 2011 ; Vol. 13, No. 6. pp. 384-389.
@article{c5624dd9e75146dc81a194cba92e6c66,
title = "Bacterial contamination and cleanliness of emergency department ultrasound probes",
abstract = "Objectives: As ultrasonography is increasingly used in the emergency department (ED), ultrasound equipment has become a potential threat to infection control. Improperly cleaned ultrasound probes may serve as a vector for pathogens such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). The primary objective of this study was to determine the prevalence of MRSA colonization on ultrasound probes used in a busy, urban ED. It was hypothesized that cultures of our ED ultrasound probes would yield a significant number of positive results for MRSA. Methods: In this observational study, 11 ED ultrasound probes were randomly sampled on 10 different occasions. Samples were taken using a RODAC plate method and were cultured for MRSA and methicillin-sensitive Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA). On half of the randomly assigned sampling occasions, a visual inspection of each ultrasound probe for general cleanliness was conducted and recorded. Data were stratified by ultrasound location in the ED and analyzed using the Fisher exact test, with p ≤ 0.05 deemed to be statistically significant. Results: Of 110 samples, no isolates of MRSA were cultured. One probe yielded a positive culture for MSSA. Probes in the medicine, trauma, and pediatrics areas were found to be clean 65{\%}, 33{\%}, and 70{\%} of the time, respectively. This variability in probe cleanliness by ED location was found to be statistically significant (p ≤ 0.01). Conclusions: Contrary to our hypothesis, MRSA contamination of ultrasound probes was not found. This finding suggests that the spread of MRSA by ED ultrasound machines in a high-volume urban ED is unlikely. Further research at different centres with larger sample sizes is required before these results can be generalized.",
keywords = "Contamination, Methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus, Mrsa, Ultrasound",
author = "Sanz, {Geoffrey E.} and Jonathan Theoret and Liao, {Michael M.} and Catherine Erickson and Kendall, {John L.}",
year = "2011",
month = "11",
doi = "10.2310/8000.2011.110409",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "13",
pages = "384--389",
journal = "Canadian Journal of Emergency Medicine",
issn = "1481-8035",
publisher = "BC Decker Inc.",
number = "6",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Bacterial contamination and cleanliness of emergency department ultrasound probes

AU - Sanz, Geoffrey E.

AU - Theoret, Jonathan

AU - Liao, Michael M.

AU - Erickson, Catherine

AU - Kendall, John L.

PY - 2011/11

Y1 - 2011/11

N2 - Objectives: As ultrasonography is increasingly used in the emergency department (ED), ultrasound equipment has become a potential threat to infection control. Improperly cleaned ultrasound probes may serve as a vector for pathogens such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). The primary objective of this study was to determine the prevalence of MRSA colonization on ultrasound probes used in a busy, urban ED. It was hypothesized that cultures of our ED ultrasound probes would yield a significant number of positive results for MRSA. Methods: In this observational study, 11 ED ultrasound probes were randomly sampled on 10 different occasions. Samples were taken using a RODAC plate method and were cultured for MRSA and methicillin-sensitive Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA). On half of the randomly assigned sampling occasions, a visual inspection of each ultrasound probe for general cleanliness was conducted and recorded. Data were stratified by ultrasound location in the ED and analyzed using the Fisher exact test, with p ≤ 0.05 deemed to be statistically significant. Results: Of 110 samples, no isolates of MRSA were cultured. One probe yielded a positive culture for MSSA. Probes in the medicine, trauma, and pediatrics areas were found to be clean 65%, 33%, and 70% of the time, respectively. This variability in probe cleanliness by ED location was found to be statistically significant (p ≤ 0.01). Conclusions: Contrary to our hypothesis, MRSA contamination of ultrasound probes was not found. This finding suggests that the spread of MRSA by ED ultrasound machines in a high-volume urban ED is unlikely. Further research at different centres with larger sample sizes is required before these results can be generalized.

AB - Objectives: As ultrasonography is increasingly used in the emergency department (ED), ultrasound equipment has become a potential threat to infection control. Improperly cleaned ultrasound probes may serve as a vector for pathogens such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). The primary objective of this study was to determine the prevalence of MRSA colonization on ultrasound probes used in a busy, urban ED. It was hypothesized that cultures of our ED ultrasound probes would yield a significant number of positive results for MRSA. Methods: In this observational study, 11 ED ultrasound probes were randomly sampled on 10 different occasions. Samples were taken using a RODAC plate method and were cultured for MRSA and methicillin-sensitive Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA). On half of the randomly assigned sampling occasions, a visual inspection of each ultrasound probe for general cleanliness was conducted and recorded. Data were stratified by ultrasound location in the ED and analyzed using the Fisher exact test, with p ≤ 0.05 deemed to be statistically significant. Results: Of 110 samples, no isolates of MRSA were cultured. One probe yielded a positive culture for MSSA. Probes in the medicine, trauma, and pediatrics areas were found to be clean 65%, 33%, and 70% of the time, respectively. This variability in probe cleanliness by ED location was found to be statistically significant (p ≤ 0.01). Conclusions: Contrary to our hypothesis, MRSA contamination of ultrasound probes was not found. This finding suggests that the spread of MRSA by ED ultrasound machines in a high-volume urban ED is unlikely. Further research at different centres with larger sample sizes is required before these results can be generalized.

KW - Contamination

KW - Methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus

KW - Mrsa

KW - Ultrasound

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84857428362&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84857428362&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.2310/8000.2011.110409

DO - 10.2310/8000.2011.110409

M3 - Article

C2 - 22436476

AN - SCOPUS:84857428362

VL - 13

SP - 384

EP - 389

JO - Canadian Journal of Emergency Medicine

JF - Canadian Journal of Emergency Medicine

SN - 1481-8035

IS - 6

ER -