The practice of disinfection of finger oximeters performed by nursing professionals

Keywords: Nursing; Disinfection; Drug Resistance, Bacterial; Equipment Contamination; Nurse Practitioners.


Objective: to analyze the practice of disinfection of finger oximeters by nursing professionals. Methods: a quantitative, descriptive, and cross-sectional study with nine professionals in a hospital clinical unit. Eighteen swab samples were collected, internally and externally from each equipment, isolating 51 bacterial colonies for antimicrobial susceptibility testing. Results: the professionals were not trained to disinfect the equipment. Eight carried the oximeters in their lab coats, and one carried them on a tray. They rarely disinfected the inside of the device fearing the 70% ethyl alcohol would damage the sensor. In 17 samples, different bacterial genera grew. 17.7% were multidrug-resistant to antimicrobials. Conclusion: it was observed that Nursing professionals don’t disinfect finger oximeters correctly. The use of 70% isopropyl alcohol is recommended to disinfect the sensors, since it doesn’t damage the equipment, and 70% ethyl alcohol to sanitize the patients’ fingers before and after the tests.


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