Safety

CDC offers tips for keeping medical devices clean and safe

OSHA Healthcare Connection, February 26, 2008

As a follow-up to a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warning last year, the CDC published on February 15 additional information alerting healthcare providers about medical device malfunctions caused by improper cleaning and disinfection techniques. Malfunction hazards have caused injuries to both patients and healthcare workers, according to the CDC.

Medical Equipment Malfunctions Associated with Inappropriate Use of Cleaning and Disinfecting Liquids recommends several measures to help improve device cleaning and disinfection and to prevent equipment malfunctions in the future:

  • Determine which pieces of equipment in use have manufacturer instructions for cleaning but not for disinfection
  • Move or separate with barriers equipment that cannot be disinfected from contaminated areas
  • If this is not possible, contact the manufacturer to discuss options for safe and effective disinfection
  • For fluid-tight equipment with cleaning and disinfection instructions, use only recommended cleaning agents and chemical disinfectants under the conditions specified
  • Provide appropriate training for personnel responsible for cleaning and disinfection

The CDC reminds healthcare providers that the Safe Medical Device Act requires reporting to the FDA any medical device malfunctions that cause or could cause death or serious injury. Reports can be made by using the FDA's MedWatch 3500A form.

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