||Anaesthetic Equipment And Prevention Of Cross Infection
||Operational Circular OP 2046/06
|Date of issue:
||Saturday, 8 April 2006
||This operational circular is to advise staff of recommendations for the potential of anaesthetic circuits to be involved in the transmission of infection from one patient to another.
||Public Health Policy Framework
|Period of effect:
||from 6 April 2006
||Dr Neale Fong, Director General, Department of Health, 06-Apr-2006
|| View print version
||Anaesthetic Equipment and Prevention of Cross Infection
Anaesthetic Equipment And Prevention Of Cross Infection
This Operational Circular is designed to advise Department of Health staff on Departmental policies and procedures.
In view of the potential for anaesthetic circuits to be involved in the transmission of infection from one patient to another, the following recommendations should be adhered to.
1. All material in direct contact with the patient should be changed after each case.
||Single use products should be discarded.|
||Multi use products should be cleaned and thermally disinfected at 80oC ‑ 90oC in an automated washer before re-use|
2. Use of microbiological filters in anaesthetic circuits:
||A microbiological filter must be positioned between the circuit and the catheter mount / airway device.|
||The microbiological filter must be discarded after each case.|
||All airway equipment between the microbiological filter and the patient must be either discarded or processed as in 1 above.|
||A new microbiological filter should be fitted for each case.|
||If additional microbiological filters are positioned between the circuit and the absorber inflow +/- outflow, they should be changed at least weekly.|
||Single-use, single-patient breathing systems that are independent of the absorber assembly may be used without a microbiological filter and discarded after each patient.|
3. Anaesthetic circuit reuse:
||When a circuit is continuously protected by microbiological filters positioned between it and the catheter mount / airway devices, the circuit can be used for more than one case.|
|| Such a circuit should be changed at the end of each anaesthesia session.|
a) Disposable circuits should be discarded.
b) Re-usable circuits should be processed as in 1 above.
4. Procedures to be followed in the event of accidental omission of microbiological filters:
||If the user fails to position a microbiological filter between the circuit and the airway device, but additional filters are in use between the circuit and the absorber, then the filters should be discarded and the circuit either discarded or processed as in 1 above.|
||If the user fails to position microbiological filters between the circuit and the patient and the circuit and absorber inflow in the setting where no visible contamination has occurred, then the following applies:|
||The circuit should be discarded or cleaned as in 1 above. |
The absorber assembly should be completely cleaned and sterilised according to manufacturers guidelines or at a minimum, the readily accessible absorber components should be cleaned and sterilised before being used with another patient.
5. Each filter in a breathing system adds resistance to the gas flow and increases the patient's work of breathing. If a filter becomes wet with patient fluids or sputum, it may block the passage of breathing gases and create dangerous pressures.
||Under these circumstances, the filters should be removed in the interests of patient safety.|
||Circuits contaminated by patient fluids should be discarded or cleaned as in 1 above.|
||Absorber assemblies contaminated by patient fluids should be dismantled, cleaned and sterilised according to manufacturer’s guidelines before use with another patient.|
- Each Health Service must ensure that responsibility for implementation of this policy is clearly assigned and that staff are appropriately trained.
- Appropriate systems must be established to track and record relevant details of anaesthetic circuits, filters and any other protective devices used for each patient.
- Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists. Policy on Infection Control in Anaesthesia. February 1995. http://www.anzca.edu.au/publications/profdocs/professional/p28_1995.htm
- Australian/New Zealand 4187:2003. Cleaning, disinfecting and sterilising reusable medical and surgical instruments and equipment, and maintenance of associated environments in health care facilities.
Dr Neale Fong
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH
This circular last updated: Friday, 7 April 2006 at 11:51am