Chemical high-level disinfection in acute care

Most hospital equipment is sterilized by heat or steam after use. But some types of equipment cannot be heat sterilized and must be disinfected using chemical products, which potentially could place employee health at risk. Karen Rideout is surveying BC hospitals and health care centres to assess current practices for using these chemicals. She is focusing on Glutaraldeyde, the most widely used solution in Canadian hospitals to disinfect endoscopy, bronchoscopy, ultrasound, and other equipment. Karen is also examining several new products to assess potential health effects and evaluate whether or not protective measures could reduce these effects. She plans to use this information to develop guidelines for use of disinfectant products, with the goal of making health care environments healthier.