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Medicina Legal de Costa Rica

On-line version ISSN 2215-5287Print version ISSN 1409-0015


MORALES CASTRO, Diana; QUESADA ARIAS, Mónica  and  UGALDE OVARES, Carlos. Detección de contaminación en el equipo anestésico de sala de operaciones del Hospital México, junio 2014. Med. leg. Costa Rica [online]. 2016, vol.33, n.2, pp.2-11. ISSN 2215-5287.


Nosocomial infections have a negative impact on healthcare professionals and patients. The influence of multiple hospital-related factors has been recognized as playing a role in these infections’ development, nevertheless, the part of the anesthetic environment has not been clearly stated. In Costa Rica, like in many other countries in the world, there are no policies or guidelines related to the cleaning of anaesthetic equipment.


The purpose of this study was to evaluate the presence of contamination on the anaesthetic equipment in the operating theatre of Hospital México. Analysis was carried out on nine surfaces of the anaesthesia machine, monitoring equipment and laryngoscopes, in both the morning and the afternoon of one day. Each surface had four tests: detection of visible contamination, detection of blood contamination, adenosine triphosphate (ATP) count and a bacterial culture test for Staphylococcus spp.


The tests showed a poor correlation between the visible and blood contamination and Staphylococcus spp cultures along with the count for relative units of light (RUL). High positive percentage of Staphylococcus spp cultures were recorded during both the morning and the afternoon, with respective values of 52 por ciento and 67 por ciento. The RUL measurements presented an average value during the morning of 5208.3 and during the afternoon of 5514.18, which is 14 times greater than the value considered clean, the permitted limit is of 350 RUL.


Anesthetic equipment is not being correctly handled, and that it is necessary to create cleaning policies.

Keywords : Nosocomial; infections; anesthetic; equipment; bioluminescence; occultblood; bacterial contamination; ATP.

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