DISINFECTION OF PATHOGENS
Proper procedure for disinfection of pathogens in hyperbaric chambers.
The disinfection of acrylic monoplace chambers can be problematic because many commercial biohazard-cleaning agents contain alcohol. While alcohol is adequate to kill many pathogens, it is destructive to acrylic. The procedure recommended by ETC uses sodium hypochlorite (bleach) for high-level disinfection. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend¹ the use of sodium hypochlorite for durable surfaces contaminated with clostridium difficile (C-Dif) because no commercial Environmental Protection Agency-registered products exist at this time. Sodium hypochlorite in a concentration of 10 percent free chlorine was also chosen because it shows no damage to acrylic².
To apply a procedure for high-level disinfection of the acrylic monoplace hyperbaric chamber for gross contamination or infectious biohazard body fluids or material.
- Wear appropriate personal protection equipment (PPE) for biohazards.
- Place a fan near the open door of the chamber to ventilate the chamber with fresh air throughout the duration of the procedure.
- With the door open, clean all gross material with water (water temperature must not exceed 100) and a 100 percent cotton towel. Place all contaminated material in a biohazard, leak proof, red bag.
- Prepare a 1:10 solution of sodium hypochlorite (bleach) in water. Ensure that the water temperature does not exceed 100°F (38°C).
- Using a clean 100 percent-cotton cloth, wipe area with bleach solution.
- Keep the area wet with the solution for 10 minutes, then let it air dry.
- After the area is dry, use a clean 100 percent-cotton towel and clean water to rinse the treated area. Allow it to air-dry.
- Examine the internal surface of the chamber and buff any surface scratches with Novis® #2 fine scratch remover.
- Polish the acrylic with Brillianize® or other acrylic polish.
- With the door open, continue to introduce air through the chamber until there is no detectable odor of cleaner or disinfectant.
- Once there are no detectable odors or visible contaminants, return the chamber to service.
¹William Rutala, Ph.D., M.P.H, David Weber, , M.D., M.P.H. and the Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee (HICPAC) Guidline for Disinfection and Sterilization in Healthcare Facilities, 2008”
2Jerry D. Stachiw, Handbook of Acrylics for Submersibles, Hyperbaric Chambers, and Aquaria, Pg 976, Best Publishing, 2003.