News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search


Blood pressure cuffs vectors for organism transmission

Embargoed before 12.01 am Monday June 17

Blood pressure cuffs potential vectors for transmission of multi-resistant organisms, study finds

Blood pressure cuffs are potential vectors for transmission of multi-resistant organisms , according to a study published in the latest issue of Emergency Medicine Australasia, the journal of the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine.

Dr Amith Shetty, emergency physician at Westmead Hospital, with Drs Harjeet Grewal  and Kavita Varshney from the Emergency Department at Westmead Hospital,  Lee Thomas and Dr Jen Kok from the Centre for Infectious Diseases and Microbiology Laboratory Services at Westmead Hospital, prospectively examined blood pressure cuffs in the emergency department , high dependency unit, and operating theatres after routine disinfection procedures.

Swabs collected from the inner and outer surfaces of BP cuffs during intervals between patients were investigated for multi-resistant organisms such as Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE).

The researchers discovered high bacterial colonization rates in cuffs from all three areas, although those from the operating theatres were significantly less colonized compared to those from the other areas.

The researchers concluded that although MRSA and VRE were infrequently isolated, current disinfection and infection control protocols need to be improved, given the greater recovery of organisms from the inner compared to outer surfaces of BP cuffs.

“Although a direct correlation between blood pressure cuff contamination rates and risks of multi-resistant organism transmission cannot be made, increased contamination of cuffs is likely to increase the risk of nosocomial infections,” they said.

“Previous studies have also demonstrated that colonization rates between the inner and outer surfaces of BP cuffs are different, suggesting that the area of skin in contact with the cuff is important in determining the efficiency of colonization and transmission.”

Dr Shetty said it is likely that these same results would be found in healthcare facilities around the world, which means that extra care should be taken in cleaning BP cuffs.


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Howard Davis: Charlotte Yates' Mansfield Project

Katherine Mansfield's vapid verses are of even less interest than her over-rated short stories, but Yates has risen to the challenge of producing a fascinating compilation album by a variety of musicians to accompany her poetry. More>>

Howard Davis: Dazed & Confused by Beats

Beats is both a coming-of-age tale and a romantic movie about endings, set to a nostalgic backdrop of the disappearing tail of the UK's illegal rave scene. More>>

Howard Davis: And The Oscar Goes To … Parasite

For its deliciously dark wit and genre-bending ingenuity, Bong Joon-ho's latest movie has just won four out of a potential six Academy Awards, including Best Screenplay and Director. Only ten foreign-language films have previously been nominated for Best Picture and none have won before. More>>

Howard Davis: 1917's 1,000 Yard Stare

Sam Mendes has created a terrible and barbarous trek, one that we appreciate all the more for being catapulted right into the midst of this ear-splitting melee from the film's opening sequence. More>>




  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland