Are you familiar with phlebotomy tourniquets? A phlebotomy tourniquet (also known as venipuncture tourniquet) is used to assess and determine the location of a suitable vein for venipuncture. It is wrapped tightly around the arm approximately three to four inches above the needle insertion point.
You may be surprised to know that reusable tourniquets (as well as those classified as disposable tourniquets) have been in the spotlight recently for being contaminated with harmful microorganisms.
A recent study inspected nearly 1,500 tourniquets and found that most were contaminated. These types of tourniquets are considered the most widely used and re-used item in the healthcare industry. Which is why it is extremely important for these items to free of dangerous germs and microorganisms!
What are these bands contaminated with?
The researchers collected data from 20 clinical studies with a combined total sample size of 1,479 tourniquets. The most commonly found microorganism was staphylococci. This dangerous microorganism was present on 441 of the tourniquets analyzed.
Staphylococci can cause a range of infections, including skin and soft tissue infections (according to the researchers).
What else did they find?
- Escherichia coli
- Klebsiella spp
- Pseudomonas spp
- Acinetobacter baumannii
- Stenotrophomonas maltophilia
The conclusion of this study stated that the “mandatory introduction of single-use disposable tourniquets in clinical settings should be considered as a potential resolution to our findings.”
From most of the data found online it appears that healthcare facilities are making the change to disposable tourniquets in place of reusable ones, but it will be up to the facility and its staff to ensure that even disposable tourniquets are not being reused and risking further contamination.
Healthcare associated infections (HAIs) impact more than 1.7 million people per year in the U.S. alone. As studies, like the one mentioned above, continue to assess and monitor patient environments, facility protocols, compliance, and the spread of harmful bacteria, solutions for these issues will continue to progress.
Alliance® offers a very unique solution. Our Non-Latex® Tourniquets with Antimicrobial Product Protection are specifically made for use in hospitals and clinics. The added antimicrobial agent makes them resistant to microbes such as bacteria, mold, and fungi.* Correlation between laboratory testing and reduced risk of infection has not been established.
*This product does not protect users from food borne or disease causing micro-organisms, and is not safe for direct food contact.
Visit our Tourniquet product page to learn more about this unique product. You can also learn more about our full line of products for medical and healthcare facilities by visiting our Health Care Facilities page. Have questions? Fill out our contact form and someone will be in contact with you!