IMPORTANCE OF X-RAY CASSETTE COVERS IN POST-COVID ENVIRONMENT
This article analyzes the importance and relevance of using x-ray cassette covers, such as the Rad Bag®, in a post-pandemic environment.
HEALTHCARE-ASSOCIATED INFECTION. INFECTION PREVENTION AND CONTROL.
Healthcare-associated infections have been a growing concern for decades. The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the existing gaps in healthcare, not only regarding nosocomial infections and lack of infection and prevention control programs (IPC), but also concerning healthcare providers’ safety and use of personal protective equipment (PPE). Healthcare personnel are not immune to risks, as evidenced by the COVID-19 pandemic. It has been demonstrated that personal protective equipment is essential for healthcare providers. Additionally, the protection and proper cleaning and disinfection of patient care devices and environmental surfaces in healthcare facilities are fundamental to preventing infections in patients and workers. According to the WHO Global report on infection prevention and control, out of every 100 patients in acute-care hospitals, seven to 15 patients will acquire at least one healthcare-associated infection during their hospital stay. Up to 30% of patients in intensive care can be impacted by healthcare-associated infections. (1) This report also states that healthcare-associated infections are among the most frequent adverse events occurring in the context of health service delivery. These infections, many of which are caused by multidrug-resistant organisms, harm patients, visitors, and health workers, and place a significant burden on health systems, resulting in increased costs. (1) The financial costs on health systems caused by healthcare-associated infections are considerable. According to a report published by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), if economic consequences, such as lost productivity and income are included, the costs of patient harm equates to trillions of dollars annually. (2) This calculation does not include the costs of healthcare providers’ illnesses, further increasing the cost. Most of the incidents that cause patient harm and specifically healthcare-associated infections can be prevented.
X-RAY EQUIPMENT CONTAMINATION
Radiology and diagnostic imaging services have a fundamental role in medical diagnosis. There is clear evidence that the equipment and accessories used bear a considerable risk of harboring nosocomial bacteria. Equipment contamination could lead to nosocomial infection, which would complicate the patient’s original condition. (3) The Spaulding classification, according to the degree of risk for infection involved, considers x-ray equipment as a noncritical medical device. However, noncritical environmental surfaces frequently touched by hand could potentially contribute to secondary transmission by contaminating hands of healthcare workers or by contacting medical equipment that subsequently contacts patients. (4) An investigation of infection control for x-ray cassettes in a diagnostic imaging department, published in the International Journal of Diagnostic Imaging and Radiation Therapy, demonstrated that there were significant levels of bacterial growth in samples taken from cassettes and developed in the Microbiology Department. Coagulase-negative Staphylococcus, Micrococci, Diptheroids, and species of Bacillus were all identified. (5) This proves the presence of bacterial contamination on cassettes. The research established that X-ray cassettes/imaging plates are often exposed to pathogens and possible routes of cross-infection; it provides evidence that a patient's skin is almost always directly in contact with the X-ray cassette/imaging plate. The research also shows that as cassettes/imaging plates are a potential source of cross-infection, the Diagnostic Imaging Department may be partly responsible for adding to the transference of pathogens around the hospital. (5) According to CDC recommendations on cleaning and disinfection of the radiology equipment, the x-ray machine, image receptor, and anatomical marker should be covered with disposable two-layer double-bagged fluid-impermeable plastic material. The detector should be wrapped in a disposable single-use water-impermeable plastic bag, and this plastic bag should be changed after every patient. (4, 6) Rad Bags® are specially designed to meet all the recommendations. Rad Bag® x-ray cassette covers have superior tear strength and resistance to blood and bodily fluids, in addition to being disposable. If the equipment is wrapped in a cover, it does not require disinfection. However, when there is a hazardous spill on the equipment, disinfection may be required. To disinfect surfaces, aldehyde solutions, guanidine derivatives, and peroxide compounds should be used. (4, 6) The use of other than the recommended cleaning agents can result in damage to the equipment. If disposable covers are unavailable, the recommendation is that X-ray equipment and accessories should be properly disinfected immediately after use and before the next patient is attended to, using appropriate cleaning wipes with vendor-approved disinfectants. (3) This would imply the use of a significant amount of time dedicated to cleaning equipment every day and after every single patient, further risking damage to the equipment if the manufacturer´s cleaning instructions are not followed rigorously every time. Rad Bags® prevent time loss and equipment deterioration. A study called “Radiology imaging equipment and accessories as possible fomites of nosocomial pathogens,” published in 2020, observed that radiology department staff only partially practiced infection control measures. This was due to the absence of a documented protocol for infection control procedures. This study indicated that all the selected equipment and accessories were contaminated with microorganisms pre- and post-cleaning. (7)
X-RAY CASSETTE COVERS
Radiography plays a very important role in medical diagnosis but the equipment and accessories used bear a considerable risk of harbouring nosocomial bacteria which may complicate patient’s original condition Radiography plays a very important role in medical diagnosis but the equipment and accessories used bear a considerable risk of harbouring nosocomial bacteria which may complicate patient’s original condition Radiography plays a very important role in medical diagnosis but the equipment and accessories used bear a considerable risk of harbouring nosocomial bacteria which may complicate patient’s original condition Radiography plays a very important role in medical diagnosis but the equipment and accessories used bear a considerable risk of harbouring nosocomial bacteria which may complicate patient’s original condition Rad Bags® are disposable plastic bags of different sizes that cover and protect the imaging plates from infectious contamination. By extension, they also protect the radiology staff and the patients. The cleaning procedures required if x-ray cassettes are not protected by approved plastic film covers would take an amount of time that is often scarce in healthcare. In addition, the radiology staff must be periodically trained and supervised to perform this task thoroughly. This implies more time and expense to prevent contamination and replace equipment broken due to the misuse of disinfection products. Rad Bag® X-ray cassette covers are a valuable resource that represents a proactive investment that will result in time and money saved. Rad Bags® are designed with fit and ease of use in mind. Plastic bags not fabricated for this use may present inconveniences in sizes, tearing, and placing the cassette on some surfaces. In conclusion, in a post-pandemic environment, with increasing concern regarding healthcare-associated infections and antibiotic resistance, Rad Bag® x-ray cassette covers meet the needs concerning infection prevention and control; they also protect the costly investments of the equipment, reduce patient and staff medical costs that are a result of infection, and reduce the liability/lawsuits due to preventable infection. Rad Bags® contribute to establishing a safe healthcare environment for patients and workers. If you want to know more about Rad Bags, order products, or request a free sample, visit our contact page here, or call us at (757) 430-6710.
(1) Global report on infection prevention and control: executive summary. Geneva: World Health Organization; 2022. Licence: CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 IGO. (2) Slawomirski, L., A. Auraaen and N. Klazinga (2017), "The economics of patient safety: Strengthening a value-based approach to reducing patient harm at national level", OECD Health Working Papers, No. 96, OECD Publishing, Paris, https://doi.org/10.1787/5a9858cd-en (3) Ochie, Kalu & Ohagwu, Christopher. (2009). Contamination of X-Ray Equipment and Accessories with Nosocomial Bacteria and the Effectiveness of Common Disinfecting Agents. African Journal of Basic and Applied Sciences. 1. 31-35. (4) ) https://www.cdc.gov/infectioncontrol/guidelines/disinfection/ (5) Fox, M., Harvey, J.M. (2008). An investigation of infection control for x-ray cassettes in a diagnostic imaging department. Radiography,14, ( 4), 306–311. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.radi.2007.09.004 (6) Sureka, Binit et al. “COVID-19 pandemic: Cleaning and disinfection - What should the radiologist know?.” The Indian journal of radiology & imaging vol. 31,Suppl 1 (2021): S207-S211. doi:10.4103/ijri.IJRI_334_20 (7) Adomako, Isaac Agyekum et al. “Radiology imaging equipment and accessories as possible fomites of nosocomial pathogens.” Journal of infection in developing countries vol. 16,7 1174-1184. 28 Jul. 2022, doi:10.3855/jidc.14225