The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

1997 OPEN FORUM Abstracts

EFFECT OF HYDROGEN PEROXIDE STERILIZATION ON CAPNOMETER ADAPTER ACCURACY; A BENCH STUDY

Robert Messenger BS, RRT, Greg Nichols MSA, RRT, Doug McKay RRT, Respiratory Care Division - Pulmonary Services Department, MetroHealth Medical Center, Cleveland, OH.

Introduction: Mainstream capnometer adapters frequently become obscured with secretions, necessitating their replacement. Although the cost for these adapters is relatively low, the total monitoring cost rises with each new adapter. We sought to determine how hydrogen peroxide plasma sterilization of these adapters would effect system accuracy relative to the manufacturer's specifications. Method: Twenty new disposable mainstream airway adapters (ADAP-UC, Nellcor-Puritan-Bennett, Haywood, CA) were individually labeled and numbered. Each adapter was evaluated using a calibrated capnometer (N-6000, Nellcor-Puritan-Bennett) which was restricted to use only for this study. To eliminate errors resulting from variation in ambient pressure, CO_{2} measurements were made and expressed on a percentage basis. A certified gas (5.0% CO_{2}), meeting the manufacturer's specifications for sensor verification was passed at 2 lpm through each adapter via a sampling system designed to eliminate contamination with ambient air, and the resulting values were recorded. The adapters were then processed by low temperature hydrogen peroxide plasma sterilization. Each adapter was tested again by the previously described method and the results recorded. Following each testing cycle the tolerance limits (95% confidence) were calculated to ensure that they did not exceed the limits identified by the manufacturer. For 13 testing-sterilization cycles, the calculated tolerance intervals were within manufacturers specifications. Results: The calculated tolerance limits were within manufacturer's specifications for the first 13 sterilization-testing cycles. Tolerance limits fell outside the acceptable limits on the 14th cycle, representing the end-point of the study. Mean adapter calibration values remained relatively stable at each interval of the study.

Capnometer Adapter Calibration and Tolerance Intervals (See original for figure)

Conclusion: Following hydrogen peroxide sterilization, these disposable adapters can be recycled 13 times without adversely affecting the accuracy of values obtained from their use. Further study is needed to determine if clinical utilization adversely effects the durability and accuracy of these adapters.

OF-97-040

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