The degree of risk of cross-infection of patients via cardio-pulmonary testing equipment has yet to be quantified. Based on current evidence, elaborate precautions are not justified, but attention to appropriate routine cleaning and disinfection protocols is important. The following are recommendations made based on the existing research as summarized in a study published in Respiratory Medicine in 2003.
Masks and valves:
“These valves, such as those from Hans Rudolph….are heat sensitive to temperatures above 40 degrees C and are damaged by prolonged exposure to hypocholorite solutions. Dismantling, washing in hand-hot soapy water, rinsing and drying should be sufficient to ensure adequate cleaning and disinfection.”
“In practice, disinfection at the end of each day, rather than between each patient, should be sufficient. Both internal and external surfaces of the tubing should be decontaminated.” Wash in hand-hot soapy water, rinse and dry.
Headgear and chest straps:
“These should be cleaned between patients using alcohol-impregnated wipes and by wiping the outside surface of the equipment.”
Additionally, “Treadmills and cycle ergometers should be wiped down at the end of each testing session.”
Kendrick AH, et al. Infection control of lung function equipment: a practical approach. Respiratory Medicine (2003) 97, 1163-1179