Keeping Medical Equipment Clean
By Dani Vaughan
With the spread of COVID-19 across the United States, consumers are rushing to purchase hand sanitizer and cleaning supplies to keep their homes and workplaces clean. Med One understands the needs of hospitals and healthcare facilities and is dedicated to maintaining the highest standards of cleanliness when it comes to our equipment.
We strictly adhere to the CDC guidelines for disinfection and sterilization when cleaning medical equipment and would like to share a little about what that means. While the CDC’s document includes a wealth of information, we wanted to focus specifically on the Disinfection of Healthcare Equipment.
The classification scheme for instruments/equipment that will be used in regard to patient care is:
1. Critical Items
⚬ This category includes surgical instruments, cardiac and urinary catheters, implants, and ultrasound probes used in sterile body cavities.
2. Semi-critical Items
⚬ This category includes respiratory therapy, anesthesia equipment, and some endoscopes. Some items in this category occasionally require high-level disinfection.
3. Non-critical Items
⚬ This includes beds, crutches, blood pressure cuffs, and computers.
The type of equipment determines the disinfection/sterilization method that must take place before it can be used to treat a patient. There are two levels:
⊱ High-Level Disinfection
⚬ Used on semi-critical items that will come into contact with either mucous membrane or nonintact skin. High-level disinfectant products are typically a combination of bleach and hydrogen peroxide.
⊱ Low-Level Disinfection
⚬ Used on non-critical items that come into contact with skin. Items such as blood pressure cuffs and bed railings. Quaternary ammonium compounds are commonly used for this level of disinfection.
In regards to Med One's inventory of equipment, we have equipment that falls within each of the three classifications and both sterilization categories. Each item is handled and taken care of appropriately.
When equipment is being prepared to be sent to hospitals and clinics, we adhere to the CDC’s strict standard of cleanliness. After being thoroughly inspected and calibrated by our technicians, the equipment will receive its first round of cleaning and then be delivered to the shipping team. Once it is ready to be shipped out, it is once again cleaned and placed into individual bags to be delivered to facilities across the United States. Only after completing this rigorous cleaning process does Med One ship out equipment for patient use.