How should you sanitize a glucometer when used for different residents?
To prevent the spread of pathogens among residents and to avoid a possible F880 citation, it’s vital to clean the glucometers both before and after each resident’s use. Blood glucose meters can become contaminated with blood and, if used for multiple residents, must be cleaned and disinfected after each use according to manufacturer’s instructions for multi-patient use. Additionally, staff must not carry blood glucose meters in pockets. The FDA has released guidance for manufacturers regarding appropriate products and procedures for cleaning and disinfection of blood glucose meters. FDA’s “Letter to Manufacturers of Blood Glucose Monitoring Systems Listed With the FDA” can be found at: http://www.fda.gov/MedicalDevices/ProductsandMedicalProcedures/InVitroDiagnostics/ucm227935.htm .
The disinfection solvent you choose should be effective against HIV, Hepatitis C, and Hepatitis B virus. Please note that 70% ethanol solutions are not effective against viral bloodborne pathogens and the use of 10% bleach solutions may lead to physical degradation of your device. A list of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) registered disinfectants can be found at the following website: https://www.epa.gov/pesticide-registration/selected-epa-registered-disinfectants.
Always consult the manufacturers of blood glucose meters in use at your facility to determine what products, meeting the criteria specified by the FDA, are compatible with your meter prior to using any EPA-registered disinfectant for disinfection purposes. If manufacturers are unable to provide this information then the meter should not be used for multiple patients.
Be sure to include these key steps when disinfecting your glucometers:
- Wash hands prior to and after cleaning
- Wear gloves
- Clean the glucometer using manufacturer’s recommended disinfectant
- Wipe all sides as well as top and bottom
- Set the glucometer on a barrier and let air dry based on the disinfectant wet contact time.
Additional information related to point-of-care testing may be found in CDC’s Infection Prevention during Blood Glucose Monitoring and Insulin Administration website at https://www.cdc.gov/injectionsafety/blood-glucose-monitoring.html.
Nancy Casperd, BSN, RN, CHC
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