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2007 ICU Decontamination Guidelines
(61 kB)









Page updated 30 April 2007

Decontamination Guidelines for ICU

To be used in conjunction with the general Disinfection Guidelines. For blood and body fluid spillages, please follow the Spillage Guidelines .

Equipment Key Comment or alternative methods of treatment
Blood Pressure cuffs GPD , SU Wash and dry between patient or use disposable cuff per patient.

Use covers or send to the laundry
ECG Monitors GPD Damp dust daily and between patients.
Electrode leads GPD Clean between patients
Horizontal Surfaces, e.g. Ledges, tops of bed rails, radiators, equipment rails GPD Damp dust with GPD and dry with paper towels daily and between patients.

Duties to be performed by domestic staff.
Walls GPD Wash with GPD between infected cases: MRSA, Group A Streptococcus, gentamicin-resistant coliforms; HIV HCVand HBV with overt blood spillage (See Spillage Guidelines).
eg Cascade GPD Rarely used now. Wash and dry daily.
eg Aquapak SU Disposable units (e.g."Aquapaks") must be discarded when contaminated
LINES for intravenous/intra-arterial administration SU No traffic lights unless absolutely clinically indicated.

Use Y-giving sets in preference to 3-way taps on IV infusions.

All lines to be dated.

Sites to be inspected twice a day as well as when giving infusion.
Peripheral Cannulae SU Date. Inspect daily and record as "not inflamed".

Change at first sign of inflammation and preferably every 48h
Central Venous catheters SU Change intravenous lines at first sign of inflammation.

Inspect daily and record "not inflamed".

Railroading over infected lines is to be discouraged.
TPN catheters SU Should be dedicated for this purpose
Giving sets SU Change every 48 hours (24 hours for TPN).
Arterial lines SU Change all equipment every 48 hours (including bag and 3-way tap).
Infusion, feed and syringe pumps GPD/ALC Cleaned daily - wiped by the nursing staff. Wipe with alcohol wipe after if overtly contaminated by blood.
Rectal and other probes (if used) SU or sheath Use disposable sheaths or wash clean in GPD followed by alcohol.

Rinse and store dry.
Ultrasound Sheath or ALC  
Stethoscopes ALC One per patient. Clean daily and between patients with alcohol wipes.

Preferably should not be worn by the nurses or doctors and carried from patient to patient without cleaning.
Wall Suction SU Use disposable units.

Discard in approved container for incineration
Reservoir GPD Empty and clean and daily between patients
Tubing (patients to reservoir)   Changed daily and between patients
Tubing (wall to reservoir) GPD Wiped daily.

Date and change monthly.
Urine/drainage bags SU Should not require changing until catheter/drain changed.
Ventilators GPD Damp dust daily with GPD and dry with paper towels between patients.Internal operation:
  • Use Pall's filters (or equivalent) in use for proven infection or
  • Patients likely to be ventilated for >24 hours

Clean internal mechanisms every 2 weeks.

Otherwise, dismantle and clean mechanism according to local policy.
  SSD N.B. disinfect internal parts in autoclave after, for example: pulmonary tuberculosis, resistant Gram-negative organisms in sputum or respiratory tracts, MRSA in the respiratory tract including nose swab, definitite fungal infection, Pneumocystis carinii, lobar and community-acquired pneumonia.

Removable parts can be autoclaved.
Ventilator Tubing SU Change between patients.

For long-term patients, tubing dated and changed weekly.
"Rebreathe" bags   Changed weekly in long-term patients.

Store clean and dry