Dry your eyes – but don’t dry those wipes!

By: May 30th, 2012 Email This Post Print This Post

A quick note of interest from the survey world

A recent survey resulted in a hospital being cited under the Infection Control standards (IC.02.02.01 on low-level disinfection, to be exact). In two instances, someone had the temerity to forget to close the cover on a container of disinfectant wipes. Can you believe such risky behavior still exists in our 24/7 world of infection prevention? It’s true, my friend, it is true!

The finding went on to say that, as the appropriate disinfection of a surface depends on wet contact with the surface being disinfected, leaving the cover open would partially dry out the next wipe, impairing the ability of the wipe to properly disinfect the surface.

Now, I suspect that the person to use that next wipe might somehow intuit that the moisture content in the wipe was not quite where it needed to be and maybe, just maybe, go to the lengths of (wait for it) – pulling out an additional wipe (or two, or three). Now my experience has been that sometimes those wipes are not what I would call particularly well-endowed in the moisture department. And  the use instructions for these products usually indicate that you should use as many wipes as it takes to ensure that the surface to be disinfected stays wet long enough for disinfection to occur.

I’ve always been a pretty big fan of the slowly-becoming-less common sense, so I’m not quite sure how we’ll be dealing with this one – thoughts, anyone?


Sorry to sound stupid, but what are “the Infection Control standards” you quote?

By David LaHoda on May 31st, 2012 at 11:50 am

IC.02.02.01 is a Joint Commission standard.

Gravity does result in disinfectant solution pooling in the bottom of a container of wipes. An easy, common sense way to maintain the wetness of wipes is to periodically turn the container upside down. Of course, a closed container is a given:-)


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