Laryngoscopes: Evaluation of microbial load of blades

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Abstract

Background:

Laryngoscope blades were analyzed, and the presence of blood, bodily fluids, and microorganisms was verified, indicating their potential as a source of cross contamination during clinical usage. The way in which the blades are cleaned and disinfected in daily practice may place the patient and health care team at risk. The aim of this study was to determine the bacterial and fungal load on this equipment.

Methods:

Descriptive cross-sectional study. A total of 83 laryngoscope blades, ready for use, were analyzed for their bacterial and fungal load at 2 university hospitals.

Results:

The microbiologic analysis revealed the presence of microorganisms in 76.2% of cases at institution 1 and 92.7% of cases at institution 2, with microbial loads >101 colony forming units in 31.2% and 44.7% of cases, respectively. At both institutions, potentially pathogenic microorganisms were found, including Candida sp, Staphylococcus aureus, Enterococcus faecalis, Streptococcus agalactiae, extended-spectrum β-lactamase–producing Klebsiella pneumoniae, multiresistant Acinetobacter baumannii, Pantoea sp, Enterobacter gergoviae, Escherichia coli, and Proteus mirabilis.

Conclusions:

These results indicate that the use of laryngoscope blades at these 2 institutions present a potential risk. Based on these findings, action needs to be taken so a higher level of safety can be offered to patients and health care professionals who have direct contact with this equipment.

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