A novel rapid and effective donor arm disinfection method

National Bacteriology Laboratory, NHS Blood and Transplant, London, UK.
Transfusion (Impact Factor: 3.57). 09/2009; 50(1):53-8. DOI: 10.1111/j.1537-2995.2009.02332.x
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The aim of the study was to derive a donor arm disinfection technique that was rapid, but with a disinfection efficacy equivalent to a previous "best-practice" technique. This method consisted of a two-stage procedure with an initial application of 70% isopropyl alcohol and then 2% tincture of iodine (IATI). The total time for the IATI method was 2 minutes in duration. A rapid technique (1 min in duration) was needed to obviate potential problems due to increased donor waiting time, had the IATI method been implemented at blood donation sessions.
A direct swabbing and plating technique was used to enumerate bacteria present before and after disinfection. In total, seven methods were evaluated.
The chlorhexidine/alcohol applicator (CAA) disinfection device containing 1.5 mL of 2% chlorhexidine gluconate and 70% isopropyl alcohol (99.91% reduction; confidence limits, 99.55%, 99.98%) was shown to have equivalent disinfection efficacy as the IATI method (99.89% reduction; confidence limits, 99.36%, 99.98%; p = 0.86). Procedural time for the 1.5-mL CAA method was 1 minute thereby avoiding potential problems of increased donor waiting time, inherent in the IATI 2-minute procedure at blood donation sessions.
The 1.5-mL CAA disinfection method offers blood services a rapid and effective donor arm disinfection procedure. In 2006, the 1.5-mL CAA procedure was implemented throughout the entire English blood service for all donations.

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