Do lead rubber aprons pose an infection risk?

Boyle, Helen and Strudwick, Ruth (2010) Do lead rubber aprons pose an infection risk? Radiography, 16 (4). pp. 297-303. ISSN 1078-8174

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Abstract

This study was carried out in order to establish whether infection control measures were being undertaken sufficiently on lead rubber aprons within a diagnostic imaging department in the east of England.

This study involved the swabbing of a sample of 15 lead rubber aprons used within different areas of the department. Swabs were taken from the area on the underside of the shoulders and from the front of the apron. Each apron was firstly swabbed to determine the current level of microorganism contamination (determination of baseline data) and then again after recommended cleaning with detergent and water (the production of a standard). Comparisons were then made between the number of microorganisms’ present (colony forming units/cm²) pre and post cleaning at each location. Additionally, post cleaning data was compared for each location.

All aprons were found to be contaminated with microorganisms, those identified were Coagulase negative staphylococci, Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus, Diphtheroids and some fungal spores. No Methicillin resistant strains of staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) were identified. Recommended cleaning with detergent and water was found to significantly reduce the amount of microorganisms present (the detergent used was Hospec general purpose neutral liquid detergent). Comparisons of the sample sites found that the front of the apron had lower levels of microorganism contamination post cleaning than the site at the underside of the shoulders.
The results suggest that the lead rubber aprons were not being cleaned sufficiently which has infection control implications for the department. In order for cross contamination to be kept to a minimum an effective infection control policy needs to be employed and this should be to carry out regular cleaning with detergent and water which has been shown can significantly reduce contamination.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: lead rubber aprons, bacteria, infection
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Health & Science > Department of Health Studies
Depositing User: Ruth Strudwick
Date Deposited: 27 Feb 2018 14:38
Last Modified: 27 Feb 2018 15:12
URI: http://oars.uos.ac.uk/id/eprint/469

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