Cleaning Shared Patient Care Equipment

Author: Kristina Magathova   Date Posted:27 January 2016 

Cleaning Shared Patient Care Equipment main image Cleaning Shared Patient Care Equipment image

images-1.jpgWhen choosing a patient lift to help with lifting and moving patients who have mobility issues, the careful determination and selection of the lift itself is very important. And so is hygiene.







The following principles apply to all equipment used in the assessment and delivery of patient care:

  • Any reusable equipment that comes into contact with non-intact skin must be cleaned before it is re-used on another patient

  • All non-dedicated (shared) equipment and accessories that come into contact with a patient or a patient’s environment must be cleaned by the health care worker [HCW] that uses or transfers the item of clinical equipment between patients

  • All equipment must be cleaned immediately if it becomes visibly soiled

  • Equipment should be able to be readily cleanable (smooth impervious surfaces such as metal, plastic, vinyl and laminate)

  • The application of tape on shared patient care equipment is discouraged as it does not allow appropriate cleaning and leaves residue

  • All HCWs must comply with standard and additional precautions appropriate for the task

  • Appropriate risk assessments, including a review of available manufacturers guidelines, must be carried out prior to the decontamination of equipment with the correct detergent/disinfectant

  • Only approved healthcare facility cleaning products to be used and be suitable to the cleaning process required

  • Cleaning is still required if a cover has been used eg. temperature probe cover

  • Additional cleaning may be required in an outbreak situation. Procedures will be determined in consultation with the health service Infection Prevention and Clinical Nurse Consultant or delegate.

Infection control in relation to patient lifting slings is particularly important as these are absorbent fabric products in regular direct contact with patients’ bodies.

Patient lift slings come in a vast assortment of different styles, shapes, and sizes, offering a wide variety of secured lifting capabilities for special needs and unique requirements. Allegro Concepts slings have a quality woven identification label. This label will not fade over time or from the normal washing process. Allegro Concepts provides slings in 2 different materials:

  • Fabric material - Offers low shear and enables easy transfers with minimal friction. The lightweight woven design is breathable and can be left in place for short periods of time

  • Mesh material - A woven poly mesh that is ideal for commode and bathing applications. Mesh slings are also suitable for daily transfer applications and is an ideal single solution for partially dependant users.

Sling Care Instructions:

  1. General
    1. Protect from direct sunlight
    2. Do not puncture with any sharp objects
    3. Repair any tear immediately [subject to assessment by manufacturer the sling may have to be condemned]
    4. Do not lift a patient if there are any sling defects
  2. Hygiene
    1. Patient lifting slings should never be shared between patients
    2. All patient lifting slings are machine washable
    3. Washing and drying temperature must not exceed 85°C
    4. Resident personal sling wiped over after use
    5. Resident personal sling laundered when soiled
    6. Resident personal sling laundered on a fortnightly schedule even if soiling not present

To maintain a fail safe hygiene routine in relation to patient lifting slings, this could mean your facility may need to have 3 slings per resident :

1 in use1 on standby - 1 sent to the laundry

An alternative is to implement disposable or single-patient –use slings as available from Active Mobility Systems.

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