The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

2012 OPEN FORUM Abstracts


Christopher Phang, David Chang; University of South Alabama, Mobile, AL

BACKGROUND: Size “E” oxygen cylinders are used frequently in health care facilities. The E-cylinders are often placed on the patient’s bed during a transport or placed on the floor during a diagnostic procedure. As a result, pathogenic organisms may be transferred to the patient. The purpose of this study was to investigate bacterial growth on the surface of E-cylinders. METHODS: The IRB approval for this study was not needed because the study did not involve human subjects. Twenty E-cylinders were randomly selected from three areas of a hospital. The areas were ICU, ER, and storage room. One control group was set up with 2 cylinders from the ICU, 2 from the ER, and 1 from the storage room. The control cylinders were wiped with germicidal disposable wipes. Each of the control and experimental cylinders was labeled and cultured. For experimental cylinders, each was cultured along the top, middle, and bottom of the cylinder’s surface by using sterile swabs and normal saline drops covering a 2” x 2” area. The sample was then inoculated onto the blood agar plates. All samples were incubated for 48 hours in a carbon dioxide rich environment created by using candles. At the end of incubation period, gross bacterial colony count and gross morphology were recorded. The results of the study were analyzed using t-test and MANOVA. RESULTS: The total bacterial colony counts were as follows (Figure 1): control (0), storage (135), ER (427), and ICU (432). The area with the highest number of colonies was the bottom surface area of the E-cylinders: ER (375), ICU (208), and storage (59). The area with the second highest colony count was the top area of the E-cylinder: ICU cylinders (151), storage (71), and ER (24). The area with the fewest colonies was on the middle area of the E-cylinder: ICU (73), ER (28), and storage (5). The control group cleaned with germicidal disposable wipes had no growth for a total count of zero colonies. The t-test results showed significant difference at the p < 0.05 level. The MANOVA test results were inconclusive due to small sample size. CONCLUSIONS: The results showed significant bacterial growth on all experimental E-cylinders. Germicidal disposable wipes completely eliminated bacterial growth on E-cylinders. Implementing a cleaning protocol of cylinders with germicidal wipes may benefit patients by reducing or eliminating bacterial contamination. Sponsored Research - None Figure 1. Total bacterial colonies on control and experimental cylinders