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Canadian Journal of Infectious Diseases and Medical Microbiology
Volume 2018 (2018), Article ID 1905360, 7 pages
Research Article

Assessing a Novel Method to Reduce Anesthesia Machine Contamination: A Prospective, Observational Trial

1Department of Nurse Anesthesia, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA, USA
2Department of Anesthesiology, Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center, Richmond, VA, USA
3Department of Clinical Lab Sciences, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA, USA
4Department of Psychology, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI, USA

Correspondence should be addressed to Beverly George-Gay

Received 24 August 2017; Accepted 31 December 2017; Published 4 February 2018

Academic Editor: Bruno Pozzetto

Copyright © 2018 Chuck J. Biddle et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Anesthesia machines are known reservoirs of bacterial species, potentially contributing to healthcare associated infections (HAIs). An inexpensive, disposable, nonpermeable, transparent anesthesia machine wrap (AMW) may reduce microbial contamination of the anesthesia machine. This study quantified the density and diversity of bacterial species found on anesthesia machines after terminal cleaning and between cases during actual anesthesia care to assess the impact of the AMW. We hypothesized reduced bioburden with the use of the AMW. Methods. In a prospective, experimental research design, the AMW was used in 11 surgical cases (intervention group) and not used in 11 control surgical cases. Cases were consecutively assigned to general surgical operating rooms. Seven frequently touched and difficult to disinfect “hot spots” were cultured on each machine preceding and following each case. The density and diversity of cultured colony forming units (CFUs) between the covered and uncovered machines were compared using Wilcoxon signed-rank test and Student’s t-tests. Results. There was a statistically significant reduction in CFU density and diversity when the AMW was employed. Conclusion. The protective effect of the AMW during regular anesthetic care provides a reliable and low-cost method to minimize the transmission of pathogens across patients and potentially reduces HAIs.