1. #1
    Forum Member
    KJ4XXX's Avatar
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    Apr 2011

    Question Decon of equipment

    I know alot of the guys (and gals) on firehouse fourms are also EMS personnel- Could you please give me some input on the decontamination procedures of your department or hospital? for items such as: shears, radio, flashlight, stethoscope, sphygmometer.

    thank you in advance

  2. #2
    MembersZone Subscriber

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    May 2007


    For the above mentioned items, it depends on how 'contaminated'. Everything you mentioned except the radio is disposable. I'm asuming you mean a cheap purpose made penlight for checking pupils when you say flashlight. If you mean a Survivor or Vulcan, they'd be treated like the radio. Wipe down with (antimicrobe?/biocide?/whatever?) the wipes we're provided for that purpose. Same with stretcher, contacted surfaces of squad, etc. Bad enough a trauma (or code brown/yellow/green) we'll actually hose out the squad.

    If the other stuff shows blood on them, we'll usually just toss them. If we don't see blood, but still think they might have been in contact, use the supplied wipes or spray with a purpose made biocide, etc.

    I assume that we're a bit more extreme in this than most places. Once I had a trauma nurse try to hand me back a used set of shears. I refused them and she thought I was nuts to tell her to throw them away. Finally she explained they had actually been autoclaved. The only time I've used a pair of shears again after blood contact.
    Opinions expressed are mine alone, and do not necessarily reflect those of the Philadelphia Fire Department and/or IAFF Local 22.

  3. #3
    Firehouse.com Editor

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    Mar 2009


    Following are three links to articles and a podcast from the last year's Fire/EMS Safety, Health & Safety Week coverage.


    Hopefully this helps!

  4. #4
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    KJ4XXX's Avatar
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    Apr 2011


    Thanks mrpita and FHEditor! Both answers were very helpful.
    our decontamination procedures are the same mrpita. We use a biocide/disinfectant on everything that shows, or we suspect may have come in contact with a bodily fluids, but in the end, a LOT gets tossed (aside from the Littman and the Vertex among other things) We have collected shears in a bin to be autoclaved at the end of the shift and reused them (which worked fine) but we don't anymore.

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