Hospital Glucose Monitors Overlooked as Infection Source

Cheryl Clark, August 14, 2012

The federal investigation of New Hampshire's Exeter Hospital hepatitis outbreak linked to suspicions of drug diversion by a healthcare worker reveals an underappreciated potential source of infection in all healthcare organizations—the inadequate cleaning of blood glucose monitors.

"It's not well appreciated in the healthcare community that these devices should be cleaned and disinfected in between patients; that's something that's only now being realized," says Joseph Perz, Prevention Team Leader for the Division of Healthcare Quality and Promotion for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"Sometimes the first time that a facility is even aware of that requirement, unfortunately, is when they undergo inspection," Perz says.  He adds that disease investigators have in the last few years, "identified a lack of cleaning and disinfection of the monitors as a potential contributor to [infection] transmission, and that's why you're seeing this standard now being enforced." 


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