Barrier properties and cost implications of a single versus a double wrap for storing sterile instrument packs

Webster, Joan, Radke, Elinor, George, Narelle, Faoagali, Joan, & Harris, Mary (2005) Barrier properties and cost implications of a single versus a double wrap for storing sterile instrument packs. American Journal of Infection Control, 33(6), pp. 348-352.

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Background Materials for wrapping sterile items continue to evolve, but evaluation of such products under clinical conditions is rare. The purpose of the current study was to test a new product before introducing it to the hospital's sterilizing processing unit.

Methods Four hundred packs containing 1199 items were prepared. Half were wrapped in linen and Kimguard sterile wrap (Kimberley-Clark Australia Pty, Ltd; Queensland, Australia), and half were wrapped in Kimguard One-Step sterile wrap (Kimberley-Clark). They were stored on shelves in 4 areas in the hospital. Items from the packs were periodically tested in the laboratory to evaluate shelf life. Time of wrapping was measured on a series of 50 packs (25 using each product), wrapped by 1 experienced person. These were unwrapped by an operating room nurse, and, again, the process was timed.

Results Bacteria were cultured from 20 (1.7%) of the 1157 test items. There were no differences on this measure between the 2 products (P = .64). Coagulase-negative Staphylococcus was the most frequent isolate, accounting for 40% of the positive results. The average time taken to wrap the test tray with the double wrap was 56.4 seconds compared with 32.4 seconds with the single wrap (P ≤ .000). Unwrapping the single pack (5.02 seconds) was also faster than unwrapping the double-wrap pack (6.92 seconds; P = .000).

Conclusions Wrapping sterile items using Kimguard one-step sterile wrap carries no greater risk of bacterial contamination than double-wrap methods and may lead to significant cost savings in both labor (time to wrap) and consumables (linen and recycling costs).

Impact and interest:

7 citations in Scopus
4 citations in Web of Science®
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ID Code: 3673
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: sterile instrument packs, Kimguard One, Step Sterile Wrap, double, wrap methods
DOI: 10.1016/j.ajic.2004.11.010
ISSN: 0196-6553
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > NURSING (111000)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2005 Elsevier
Copyright Statement: Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Deposited On: 13 Mar 2006 00:00
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 13:11

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