INFECTION TRANSMISSION POTENTIAL OF REUSABLE PHLEBOTOMY TOURNIQUET IN SELECTED HEALTH FACILITIES IN CALABAR, NIGERIA
Ofonime M. Ogba*, Tariladei Selekeowei and Iquo Otu-Bassey
Reusable phlebotomy tourniquets are used repeatedly on multiple patients and can harbour numerous pathogenic microorganisms serving as potential source of cross-infection between patients. This study was carried out to determine the transmission potential of reusable phlebotomy tourniquets and the source of tourniquet contamination. Informed consent was obtained from the Phlebotomists and heads of departments/units before sampling their tourniquets. Units sampled were Laboratories, sample collection rooms, wards and outpatient Departments. Fingers and gloves of health care workers were also sampled. Hundred questionnaires were administered to healthcare personnel on hand hygiene, glove utilization and tourniquet usage by healthcare personnel. The bacterial colonization rates in the units of healthcare facility, fingers and gloves were compared using chi-square test. Out of the 19 Health facilities sampled, 8 were public health facilities while 11 were private facilities. Results from the study showed that the overall bacterial colonization rate of the 100 tourniquets was 85%. The highest tourniquet colonization was in the Laboratory (62.4%), followed by the wards (22.4%). The least was found in outpatient department (3.5%). The most prevalent isolate on tourniquets were coagulage-negative staphylococci (29.4%) followed by staphylococcus aureus (28.2%) while Escherichia coli was the least (3.5%) encountered isolate. Bacterial colonization rates on facility surfaces were 51.1% whille those on gloves was (33.1%). The most encountered isolates were Coagulase-negative Staphylococci 68(51.1%). The least isolate was pseudomonas aeruginosa 5(3.8%). Hand hygiene practice was poor. Hand hygiene should be embraced in totality by healthcare workers. Since, tourniquets are not made of durable materials, a reliable method of decontamination is difficult to achieve. Hence, disposable tourniquets should be used in health facilities.
Keywords: Phlebotomy tourniquet, transmission potential, patients risk.
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