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May 1967

Sterilization of Anesthesia Apparatus

Arch Otolaryngol. 1967;85(5):472. doi:10.1001/archotol.1967.00760040474002

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THE INCREASING use of intratracheal anesthesia has introduced a new possibility for producing infection in a patient undergoing prolonged surgery in a clean field. An example in otolaryngology is the transtemporal bone microsurgical removal of acoustic neuromas where postoperative meningitis and pneumonitis are potential serious complications.

Sterilization of anesthesia equipment presents a rather difficult problem, since bulky rubber items do not easily lend themselves to usual sterilizing techniques. In the Journal of the American Medical Association, Meeks et al consider the problem. Two methods of sterilizing face masks, breathing tubes, rebreathing bags and endotracheal tubes and correctors were utilized, with cultures made before and after sterilization. The first method included thorough washing (and brushing where this could be done) with hexachlorophene and water followed by rinsing and soaking in buffered glutaraldehyde for ten minutes.

After the first method (alcohol soaking after washing in hexachlorophene) there was only a slight decrease

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