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Infection Prevention

We are in the process of opening a Wound Care and Hyperbaric’s clinic and were looking for a few documents to have on file.  We are wondering if you had a list of approved cleaners for the acrylic?
Published: 16 March 2015

We are in the process of opening a Wound Care and Hyperbaric’s clinic and were looking for a few documents to have on file.  We are wondering if you had a list of approved cleaners for the acrylic?

The UHMS safety committee can provide information but the ultimate responsibility for these types of questions is with the  safety director of your facility.

Regarding Approved cleaners for acrylic. 

  • The manufacturers commonly specify what you can use to clean the acrylic windows on the monoplace and multiplace, Sechrist attached. We recommend that you contact the chamber manufacturer for their most current recommendation.
  • The American Society of Mechanical Engineers, Safety Standard for Pressure Vessels for Human Occupancy: In-Service Guidelines, ASME-PVHO-2-2012 edition, Mandatory Appendices V, Partial list of harmful substances and acceptable products, pg 35, lists acceptable cleaners as well.  We recommend that you obtain this document for your library.
  • Your facilities infection control needs to be engaged with this process, for example, the CDC recommends a 10% bleach solution for a C-Diff clean up.
Does the patient air mask and ground bracelet need to be disposed of after the patient finishes their HBO treatment cycle or can they be cleaned with disinfectant and used again?
Published: 23 January 2016

Does the patient air mask and ground bracelet need to be disposed of after the patient finishes their HBO treatment cycle or can they be cleaned with disinfectant and used again?

Thank you for your question. The UHMS HBO2 safety committee can provide information to assist you in answering your question, but the ultimate responsibility for these types of questions rests with the medical director and safety director of your facility.

Regarding:  Disposal or disinfection of the patient air break assembly and ground bracelet.

The instructions for use from the manufacture of the device, the facility’s infection prevention and control department policies, and hyperbaric medicine staff will all be utilized to determine the procedure based on the type of device used. The answer(s) will depend on the type of air break assembly and patient grounding device used, and the type of patient being treated. For example, if you are hospital based and have a patient that is in isolation your procedures will most likely be different that if you are an out-patient facility. 

  1. If using a disposable mask and/or grounding bracelet: it is single patient use (label it for that patient, clean as per infection prevention and control policies and dispose of it at the end of the care plan).
  2. If using a reusable air break assembly and/or grounding bracelet: have it cleaned per your institution’s cleaning procedures.
    1. With the demand valve style of air break mask, there is a recommendation that a bio-filter to be inserter between the oral/nasal mask or mouth piece and the demand valve. Consider issuing the re-usable oral/nasal mask or mouth piece to the patient for the duration of the patient care plan, then send the device to Central Sterilization before placing back into service for the next HBO2

 

 

DISCLAIMER
Neither the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society (UHMS) staff nor its members are able to provide medical diagnosis or recommend equipment over the internet. If you have medical concerns about hyperbaric medicine you need to be evaluated by a doctor licensed to practice medicine in your locale, which can provide you professional recommendations for hyperbaric medicine based upon your condition. The responsibility of approving the use of equipment resides with the physician and safety director of the facility. Information provided on this forum is for general educational purposes only. It is not intended to replace the advice of your own health care practitioner and you should not rely upon it as though it were specific medical advice given to you personally.

We have a patient who meets the treatment criteria for hyperbaric medicine however their home is infested with bed bugs. What recommendations can you make so that the chamber is not contaminated for the next patient?
Published: 12 October 2017

We have a patient who meets the treatment criteria for hyperbaric medicine however their home is infested with bed bugs. What recommendations can you make so that the chamber is not contaminated for the next patient?

Thank you for your question. The UHMS hyperbaric oxygen safety committee (SC) can provide information, but the ultimate responsibility for these types of questions is the medical director and safety director of your facility.

Regarding: The recommendations for avoiding a bed bug (Cimex lectularius) contamination in the hyperbaric chamber

The question does not identify what type of chamber it is. There are different concerns with monoplace and multiplace chambers. Addressing a bed bug contamination is not unique to hyperbaric chambers and we would encourage you to follow the infection control procedures of your institution. This is a serious issue, none of us want to be part of a hospital-acquired bed bug infestation, and we must protect our staff and other patients.  We encourage you to work with the chamber manufacturer to ensure any products used to clean the chamber are safe to use. We are aware of at least one facility that lost a monoplace chamber due to an exterminator using steam on the acrylic. The use of steam to clean a bed bug infestation in the monoplace chamber is not advised. ASME PVHO-1 acrylic is a low-temperature product and commonly rated for a minimum of around 50 degrees F and a maximum of about 125 degrees F, depending on design or manufacturer. Steam or cryogenics could be considered for a multiplace chamber if the acrylic windows are protected. Consider engaging social work/family support services and facility leadership to address the home issues.

 Things to consider:

  • Bed bugs are not “jumpers,” they fall. For example, they do not jump from a patient to a gurney, instead they fall off the patient onto the gurney
  • Two common items that transport bed bugs from the home to the hospital/clinic are wheelchairs and gurneys.
    • Patients that arrive via wheelchair or gurney should be transferred, if possible, to a clean hospital wheelchair or gurney.
      • The hospital wheelchair or gurney must be inspected and cleaned post use.
    • Have a patient change in a controlled room and place their belongings into a securable bag.
    • Inspect the patient’s dressing for bed bugs as they like to hide in folds and creases of linen and other materials.
    • Post-treatment; inspect the chamber with a high lumen flashlight. You are looking for black specs or moving bugs.
    • Post-treatment; don appropriate personal protective equipment to keep bugs from attaching to you, then enter the chamber and remove bugs by wiping and consider vacuuming the mattress, pillows, and area between the seal and acrylic. Remember – they do not jump.
    • Post-treatment; inspect the chamber mattress with a high lumen flashlight. You are looking for black specs or moving bugs. Also, examine the folds, creases, and zipper flaps of the mattress.
    • Post-treatment cleaning of the hyperbaric suite: The Hyperbaric Safety Director should be present to oversee the cleanup of the hyperbaric suite. Extreme care is to be used around the acrylic.
    • Cleaning solutions and disinfectants, approved for hyperbaric chambers, do not kill bed bugs. Instead, the best method of elimination from inside the chamber is by removal.
    • Inform the hospital cleaning staff or exterminators that steam cleaning is not to be performed on the chamber’s acrylic windows as steam will severely damage the acrylic.
    • Inform the hospital cleaning staff or exterminators that cryogenic fluids are not to be used on the chamber’s acrylic windows, as the extreme cold will damage the acrylic.
    • If possible, treat this patient in the last treatment block of the day; this will allow for the extending cleaning and inspection time without interfering with the other scheduled treatment times.
    • Also, ask the hospital’s exterminator for a protective mattress liner. For example, ActiveGuard®Mattress* Liner.
      • ActiveGuard is intended to be placed on a mattress and left on for eight weeks and up to two-years depending on the severity of infestation or presence of bed bugs.
      • ActiveGuard has a chemical that kills dust mites and bed bugs, but the liner itself will need to be evaluated by the HBO2 Safety Director and Physician in Charge for acceptance during a treatment. One option is to place the liner on the mattress at the end of the day’s treatments and remove the linen just prior to the next day’s treatments.

*ActiveGuard is mentioned as this is the only mattress liner known to the UHMS SC as one that kills bed bugs.

DISCLAIMER
Neither the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society (UHMS) staff nor its members are able to provide medical diagnosis or recommend equipment over the internet.  If you have medical concerns about hyperbaric medicine you need to be evaluated by a doctor licensed to practice medicine in your locale, which can provide you professional recommendations for hyperbaric medicine based upon your condition. The responsibility of approving the use of equipment resides with the physician and safety director of the facility.  Information provided on this forum is for general educational purposes only.  It is not intended to replace the advice of your own health care practitioner and you should not rely upon it as though it were specific medical advice given to you personally.

I am a Registered Nurse/Hyperbaric Tech and we are preparing for a Joint Commission survey within the next few months and one of the questions that we might have to answer is how do we properly clean a chamber after a patient with CDIFF? Since we have never had a patient with this illness, we are unsure how to answer. We currently clean our chambers with Sani-Cloth HB, however CDIFF is not listed as one of the microorganisms that this particular product is effective against. I have heard from another sour
Published: 16 August 2017

I am a Registered Nurse/Hyperbaric Tech and we are preparing for a Joint Commission survey within the next few months and one of the questions that we might have to answer is how do we properly clean a chamber after a patient with CDIFF? Since we have never had a patient with this illness, we are unsure how to answer. We currently clean our chambers with Sani-Cloth HB, however CDIFF is not listed as one of the microorganisms that this particular product is effective against. I have heard from another sour

Thank you for your question. The UHMS hyperbaric oxygen safety committee (SC) can provide information but the ultimate responsibility for these types of questions is with the medical director and safety director of your facility.

Regarding: Cleaning the chamber after a patient with Clostridium Difficile (Cdiff).

The type of chamber was not identified in the question. There are different concerns with the monoplace and multiplace chambers. You are correct in stating that the Sani-Cloth HB is not effective in killing the Cdiff spore. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends a 10% bleach solution as an effective way to kill the spore. 

Regardless of the type of chamber we encourage the facility to work with their infection control and risk departments to develop a procedure that works for the types of chamber(s) utilized and types of patients treated. It is not just the chambers, a procedure should cover all contact surfaces, BP cuffs, thermometers, stethoscopes, handwashing, care of the linen, (do you allow adult diapers),  etc. Consider what you define as a Cdiff exposure, is the infection active and is the patient on medication for it?

The Center for Disease Control and the Environmental Protection Agency have published several articles stating that it is more important to “mechanically wipe or remove the organisms than to kill the organisms.” This method has been used by hyperbaric facilities for decades with no adverse events reported.

To kill the spore use a bleach solution at a concentration approved by the chamber/acrylic manufacturer.  Always check with the chamber manufacturer regarding what approved products they recommend. Several chamber manufactures do allow hypo-chlorite solutions such as the 10% bleach mixture to come into contact with their acrylic windows. The ASME PVHO-2 lists a 10% hypochlorite solution as one of the approved cleaners for acrylic. Attached is a copy of Appendix 19A and 19C of Jerry Stachiw’s book, Handbook of Acrylics. It shows bleach, no-crazing after 12-hrs duration and 2000 psi flex stress. The solution concentration that he used however, was extremely dilute. The unstressed situation was 10% concentration with no effect after one-year.

The primary concern between the mechanical scrubbing of the chamber with a detergent to remove the spore and using bleach to kill the spore after a Cdiff exposure, is the ventilation. It is much easier to use the bleach wipes in the multiplace than the monoplace due to the size and ability to ventilate the multiplace chamber atmosphere. There have been reported incidents of staff exposure to bleach causing respiratory problems, not only in hyperbaric facilities but in environmental services and employees caring for swimming pools. 

Considerations include:

  1. Work with your Infection Control and the Environment of Care Committee
  2. There are known respiratory concerns for staff (and patients) when using bleach and adequate personal protection equipment must be provided. 
  3. Note contact time, the solution used must be allowed adequate “wet” time to kill the spore. The directions for use will describe the minimum time, 4 minutes, 5 minutes, and so on.
  4. Follow up with a fresh water rinse. (Don’t let the bleach solution stand to long without rinse). Bleach will leave a film on the acrylic that will need to be removed. This requires additional time and effort to insure the acrylic is clean and optically clear.
  5. Understand items/issues from ASME/PVHO-2-2016 ("Section 2" and "Mandatory Appendix V, Partial List of Harmful Substances and Acceptable Products")  It also gives information on other issues when using cleaners.
    1. Temperature considerations.
    2. Chamber should not be under pressure.
    3. Application material (soft cloth, etc.)
    4. Apply solution to soft cloth first, not directly on acrylic.
    5. No power buffers.
    6. Don't fixate on just the active ingredients. (perfumes, colorants, etc. can also be contraindicated)

ARTICLES OF INTEREST:

DISCLAIMER
Neither the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society (UHMS) staff nor its members are able to provide medical diagnosis or recommend equipment over the internet.  If you have medical concerns about hyperbaric medicine you need to be evaluated by a doctor licensed to practice medicine in your locale, which can provide you professional recommendations for hyperbaric medicine based upon your condition. The responsibility of approving the use of equipment resides with the physician and safety director of the facility.  Information provided on this forum is for general educational purposes only.  It is not intended to replace the advice of your own health care practitioner and you should not rely upon it as though it were specific medical advice given to you personally.

 

Have the protocals for cleaning the chambers and disinfection changed in light of the COVID-19 outbreak?
Published: 15 March 2020

Have the protocals for cleaning the chambers and disinfection changed in light of the COVID-19 outbreak?

Date Posted: 3/17/2020


Question: Have the protocals for cleaning the chambers and disinfection changed in light of the COVID-19 outbreak?


Thank you for your question. The UHMS HBO2 safety committee (UHMS-SC)  can provide information to assist you in answering your question, but the ultimate responsibility for these types of questions rests with the Medical Director and Hyperbaric Safety Director (MD & HSD) of your facility.

The UHMS-SC directs all hyperbaric practices to follow the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) along with guidance from the Hyperbaric Chamber Manufacturer, State and local health agencies, and your hospital infection prevention and control group. All of these sources will impact the decision for your practice. Your choice should be a decision made between the MD & HSD of your program. The UHMS-SC can provide guidance based upon existing literature available to the public, but does not endorse a particular product or procedure.

The CDC has released a list of items as identified by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that can be utilized for disinfection, stating that:

“Products with EPA-approved emerging viral pathogens are expected to be effective against COVID-19 based on data for harder to kill viruses. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for all cleaning and disinfection products (e.g., concentration, application method and contact time, etc.).”

It is important to note that many of the items within the EPA’s list may be unsafe to utilize on acrylic surfaces. It is important to reach out to your specific chamber manufacturer for further guidance. In all cases, it is important to follow the guidance of the product’s manufacturer for application and contact time.

For non-acrylic surfaces, The UHMS-SC advises you follow the guidance of your hospital’s infection prevention and control department to identify a particular product that is known to be effective against COVID-19.

Regarding protocols for cleaning chamber surfaces, hyperbaric facilities should follow the protocols set forth by their institution. Dr. Jim Chimiak, Medical Director at the Divers Alert Network states: “There are no special recommendations that we are aware of for chamber attendants or for disinfection of the hyperbaric chamber and BIBs in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. The usual disinfection protocols are more than sufficient to kill COVID-19, in the unlikely event that it would be present.”

References:

EPA.gov, “List N: Disinfectants for Use Against SARS-CoV-2,” Accessed 3/17/2020

https://www.epa.gov/pesticide-registration/list-n-disinfectants-use-against-sars-cov-2

Sechrist Industries, “CARE AND DISINFECTION OF THE CHAMBER AND GURNEY,” Accessed 3/17/2020

https://sechristusa.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/Approved-Chamber-Disinfectants.pdf

Perry Baromedical, “PERRY GUIDANCE ON COVID-19,” Accessed 3/17/2020

https://perrybaromedical.com/uncategorized/perry-guidance-on-covid-19/

Divers Alert network, “DAN ENCOURAGES DIVERS AND DIVE OPERATORS TO PROPERLY DISINFECT DIVE GEAR,” Accessed 3/17/2020

https://www.diversalertnetwork.org/news/dan-encourages-divers-and-dive-operators-to-properly-disinfect-dive-gear

Respectfully,

The UHMS Safety Committee


 DISCLAIMER

Neither the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society (UHMS) staff nor its members are able to provide medical diagnosis or recommend equipment over the internet.  If you have medical concerns about hyperbaric medicine you need to be evaluated by a doctor licensed to practice medicine in your locale, which can provide you professional recommendations for hyperbaric medicine based upon your condition. The responsibility of approving the use of equipment resides with the physician and safety director of the facility.  Information provided on this forum is for general educational purposes only.  It is not intended to replace the advice of your own health care practitioner and you should not rely upon it as though it were specific medical advice given to you personally.

We started our Hyperbaric Chamber Service in Hong Kong in September 2018 and was running both elective and emergency cases smoothly. In view of NCoV in Hong Kong, though we screened patients for the treatment, there is concern of infection control issue to the inside attendants. I was wondering if Surgical Mask could be used inside multichamber with treatment pressure of 2.4ATA and duration of 125 minutes. There would be meeting with the Hyperbaric Director, Bio-engineering and Technologist week later
Published: 18 March 2020

We started our Hyperbaric Chamber Service in Hong Kong in September 2018 and was running both elective and emergency cases smoothly. In view of NCoV in Hong Kong, though we screened patients for the treatment, there is concern of infection control issue to the inside attendants. I was wondering if Surgical Mask could be used inside multichamber with treatment pressure of 2.4ATA and duration of 125 minutes. There would be meeting with the Hyperbaric Director, Bio-engineering and Technologist week later

Posted: 3/18/2020


MEDFAQ Question: We started our Hyperbaric Chamber Service in Hong Kong in September 2018 and was running both elective and emergency cases smoothly.   In view of NCoV in Hong Kong, though we screened patients for the treatment, there is concern of infection control issue to the inside attendants.  I was wondering if Surgical Mask could be used inside multichamber with treatment pressure of 2.4ATA and duration of 125 minutes.  There would be meeting with the Hyperbaric Director, Bio-engineering and Technologist week later and I would like to seek expert opinion in this perspective.


Thank you for your question. The UHMS HBO2 Safety Committee can provide information to assist you in answering your question, but the ultimate responsibility for these types of questions rests with the Medical Director and Hyperbaric Safety Director (HSD) of your facility.

Users of many products that are considered for use in the hyperbaric environment are not likely to receive permission from the manufacturer, just as clothing manufacturers will not usually “approve” items for hyperbaric exposure. This decision is often left to the end-user of the product.

There are no obvious mechanical or physiological risks that present with using such a device inside a chamber. The only risk of concern would then be fire.

Perceivably, in a 21% oxygen (AIR) environment, the risk of synthetic fabrics may be reduced compared to the 100% oxygen environment where individuals are required to be grounded. However, due to the increased safety risk to the inside attendant of NOT wearing the mask, it would be reasonable to allow the mask into the chamber for the inside attendant/s to use, provided that the oxygen concentration is limited to less than 23.5% oxygen and the atmosphere is ventilated per NFPA 99, Chapter 14 (2018) 14.2.4.1.1 – 14.2.4.1.2. Also, the mask will quickly become humid as a result of the attendant’s respiration, further reducing the possibility of combustion.

It is suggested that a proper risk assessment be initiated by the HSD or coordinator of your hyperbaric program. A risk assessment procedure found in section A14.3.1.6.4.3 of NFPA 99 is written for hyperbaric wound dressings, but the process is useful for other items as well. The HSD should consider using this risk assessment process when deciding which materials may be allowed in the hyperbaric environment. Furthermore, section 14.3.1.6.4.4 calls for written approval by the HSD and the Medical Director for allowance of items normally prohibited. In all cases, it is important to follow the guidance of federal, state and local health agencies and your hospital infection prevention and control group.

For your convenience, the National Fire Protection Association offers a public read-only version of NFPA 99 (2018). You may access this document by visiting the following site:

https://www.nfpa.org/codes-and-standards/all-codes-and-standards/list-of-codes-and-standards/detail?code=99

Respectfully,

The UHMS Safety Committee


 DISCLAIMER

Neither the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society (UHMS) staff nor its members are able to provide medical diagnosis or recommend equipment over the internet.  If you have medical concerns about hyperbaric medicine you need to be evaluated by a doctor licensed to practice medicine in your locale, which can provide you professional recommendations for hyperbaric medicine based upon your condition. The responsibility of approving the use of equipment resides with the physician and safety director of the facility.  Information provided on this forum is for general educational purposes only.  It is not intended to replace the advice of your own health care practitioner and you should not rely upon it as though it were specific medical advice given to you personally.