KNOWLEDGE OF MICROBIAL CONTAMINATION OF SPHYGMOMANOMETERS IN HEALTHCARE FACILITIES IN BENIN CITY
Nosocomial infections are infections that patients acquire while receiving treatment for other health conditions within a healthcare setting or facility. This study aims to determine the level of awareness of healthcare providers on the role sphygmomanometers play in the spread of nosocomial infections and to isolate microorganisms in sphygmomanometer cuffs used in healthcare facilities. A structured, self-administered questionnaire was designed and administered to healthcare practitioners of two tertiary hospitals and community pharmacies in Benin City. Microbial contamination of sphygmomanometer cuffs was investigated following the standard isolation and identification techniques for microorganisms. A total of 217 responded; 27.2% pharmacists, 33.2% doctors and 39.6% nurses. The majority (50.2%) were between the ages of 20 – 30 years. 65.4% were females and 51.6% were single. Ninety-four percent (94%) of the total respondents said that microorganisms are present in the inner cuffs of sphygmomanometers, 76% said microorganisms on the cuffs are sources of nosocomial infections while 80.6% said patients can be infected with the use of sphygmomanometers. A total of 192 swabbed samples were collected from 64 cuffs in the healthcare facilities, 46.5% were bacteria and 53.5% fungi. The most isolated organisms were candida species 42(21%), Staphylococcus aureus 41(20.5% of which 28(68.3%) were methicillin resistant.), Mucor 34(17%), Aspergillus species 23(11.5%). Ninety four percent (94%) of respondents had good knowledge that blood pressure cuffs play a role in the spread of nosocomial infections. The sphygmomanometer cuffs were contaminated with pathogenic microorganisms implicated in nosocomial infections.
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