Disinfection of frequently touched surfaces in the hospital is critical for providing safe care. Because of their complex intricate surfaces, blood pressure cuffs and electrocardiographic telemetry leads may be harder than other equipment to disinfect.


To determine the effectiveness of 0.5% hydrogen peroxide wipes in cleaning and disinfecting inpatient hospital surfaces, including hook and loop (Velcro) fasteners of blood pressure cuffs and electrocardiographic telemetry leads.


A prospective study of an inpatient telemetry unit was designed to measure the persistence of a UV indicator and the presence of bacterial colonization on electrocardiographic telemetry leads and blood pressure cuffs. Call buttons and patient trays were used as control surfaces, because they are often touched but are easy to disinfect via standard practices.


A total of 392 samples were collected between July 11 and August 3, 2016, and cultured for microorganisms. Among the cultures, 247 (63%) had at least 1 colony-forming unit. After adjustments in a multivariable analysis, odds of a contaminated surface (≥ 10 colony-forming units) after final cleaning with 0.5% hydrogen peroxide wipes were 3.70 times greater for patient trays than for blood pressure cuffs (P = .03) and 3.80 times greater for telemetry leads than for blood pressure cuffs (P = .04). The UV indicator persisted longer on blood pressure cuffs and telemetry leads than on patient trays or call buttons (P < .001).


Wipes with 0.5% hydrogen peroxide adequately disinfect blood pressure cuffs but not telemetry leads.

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