In many hospitals that treat hyperbaric patients, the task at hand is getting the infection control policy makers to understand that many of the hospital-based disinfectants cannot safely be used on the acrylics of both multiplace and monoplace chambers. The most-asked question is, “What can now be used to disinfect acrylic chambers?” With the increasing concern over nosocomial infections and the possible effect they have on patient outcomes, keeping the hyperbaric chamber infection free is a major concern for all. On page 274 of Hyperbaric Facility Safety: A Practical Guide, 2nd Edition you can find the most current list of disinfectants that can used on the acrylic portion on both multiplace and monoplace chambers, and the products that have been identified acceptable for use on acrylic hyperbaric chambers for infection control.
Remember, it is the responsibility of the safety director to ensure that disinfectants used are compatible with the acrylics.
The role of infection control of acrylic monoplace chambers has proven to be prickly due to many commercial biohazard-cleaning agents containing alcohol or ammonia that have a direct effect on the serviceability of the acrylics. While alcohol is adequate to kill many pathogens, it is destructive to acrylic. Therefore, the procedure recommended here uses sodium hypochlorite (bleach) for high-level disinfection. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) also recommends the use of sodium hypochlorite for durable surfaces contaminated with Clostridium difficile (C-diff ) because no commercial or Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered products exist at this time.
Sodium hypochlorite in a concentration of 10% free chlorine was also chosen because it has been found to show no damage to acrylic. When using any disinfectant, one must remember that all cleaners will at some point off-gas, and when placing a patient into a closed environment regardless of the ventilation rate one must take this into consideration and be mindful of the potential problems that could occur.
Page 275 Table 4 Hyperbaric Facility Safety: A Practical Guide, 2nd Edition lists products and the contact times necessary to achieve the recommended effect.
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