Ask the expert: Disposable tourniquets and OSHA regulations

By: June 4th, 2012 Email This Post Print This Post

Q: What does OSHA say about reusing tourniquets for blood draws?

A: OSHA doesn’t say anything specific on reusing tourniquets. However, if a used tourniquet meets the definition of “contaminated” as set forth in the Bloodborne Pathogens standard, then it must be decontaminated (or, more likely, discarded) as soon as feasible.

Under the standard, contaminated means “the presence or the reasonably anticipated presence of blood or other potentially infectious materials on an item or surface.”

Contaminated tourniquets pose infection hazards not only to workers, but also to patients. Technically, OSHA is not concerned with patient infections, but those responsible for infection prevention and patient safety in your facility certainly should be.

In short, reusing tourniquets is not absolutely an OSHA violation, but it could be given the specific circumstances of your setting.

 

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Comments

I believe the key word here would be “disposable”. If it is disposable, it is not reusable. Always follow manufacturer’s recommendations. If you choose not to then you are no longer in a defensible position.

By Pat Slice on June 7th, 2012 at 5:59 pm

We were following the OSHA guideline and abt 6-8 months ago we went to using a fresh tourniquet on each patient. Slowly getting nursing to do that, too. I believe it helps. (and ours are not considered “disposable”)

By Stacey Clarke on October 22nd, 2019 at 7:09 pm

Tournicots are a single packaged, single use tournicot. It was my understanding that these types of tourniquets could not be sterilized properly for multiple use. Comments?

 

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