Extent and practicalities of filter use in anaesthetic breathing circuits and attitudes towards their use: a postal survey of UK hospitals.
ABSTRACT A postal survey of 120 UK hospitals was conducted to assess the current use of filters in anaesthetic breathing systems and consultant anaesthetists' opinion of their value; 76% of the questionnaires were returned complete. The survey showed that 77.2% of anaesthetic departments use a new filter for every case, a variety of different filter types being used. A connector distal to the filter was used in 78.3% of patients, providing a possible route for cross infection. Anaesthetists rated the prevention of bacterial infection and gross contamination as being higher priorities than the prevention of viral infection. Of those surveyed, 66.3% believed filters were worthwhile whereas only 35.9% thought they were cost effective. Only 34.8% of anaesthetists believed that the supposed extra efficiency of pleated hydrophobic membrane filters over electrostatic filters merited their extra cost.
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ABSTRACT: Anaesthetists have an important role in preventing nosocomial infection. Failures in this role have resulted in critical reports in the media. We ascertained the current practices of New Zealand anaesthetists relating to infection control, by distributing a questionnaire to all 450 anaesthetists practising in New Zealand. Sixty-one percent responded. Just over half the respondents had never read their hospital policy on infection control and over a third had never read the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists policy document on infection control. It was found that 3.4% rarely changed gloves if they became contaminated and 2.2% occasionally used the same syringe to administer drugs to more than one patient. The majority (86.3%) of respondents split one drug ampoule between more than one patient, 41.3% used multidose vials for more than one patient and 2.2% used pre-filled syringes for more than one patient. The majority complied with the College infection control policy for performing arterial cannulation (85.7%), central venous cannulation (77.4%) and regional blockade (65.1%). Respondents ranked the overall risk of the anaesthetist contributing to the transmission of infectious agents on a scale from 0 to 10 (10=highest risk). The median response was 7, the modal response was 10 and interquartile range was 4 to 8. There was a high level of awareness of the risks of contributing to cross-infection inherent in anaesthesia, most anaesthetists reporting that they followed recommended guidelines in this context. However, these data suggest more effort is required to promote compliance with appropriate guidelines.Anaesthesia and intensive care 03/2006; 34(1):68-74. · 1.28 Impact Factor