Thursday, 8 May 2014

How often do anaesthesia breathing circuits need to be changed?

DEPM's Associate Professor Karin Leder  and Dr Joanne O'Toole have co authored a new study which found that there is little difference in bacterial contamination of anaesthesia breathing circuits when changed every 24 hours, every 48 hours or every 7 days.
According to the research, when single-use filters are used, anaesthetic breathing circuits are changed at different frequencies according to jurisdiction. In the USA they are changed between patients, in the UK they are changed daily, and in Germany they are changed weekly.

In Australia, there are guidelines recommending single-use filters and how to clean anaesthetic circuits, but the frequency of circuit cleaning is unspecified.

Researchers quantified anaesthetic circuit aerobic microbial contamination rates when changed every 24 h, 48 h and 7 days. Microbiological samples were taken from the interior of 305 anaesthetic breathing circuits over a 15-month period (3197 operations).

There was no significant difference in the proportion of contaminated circuits when changed every 24 h compared with 48 h and up to 7 days.

The study found that annual savings for one hospital (six operating theatres) were $AU 5219 and a 57% decrease in anaesthesia circuit steriliser loads associated with a yearly saving of 2760 kWh of electricity and 48 000 l of water.
Click here to read the full article.


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