It is difficult to predict the clinical impact of surface damage because there is
no clear definition of what constitutes surface damage. In theory, surface
damage can cause equipment to fail to operate correctly and can shelter microorganisms,
thus preventing proper disinfection. Both types of surface damage
can create safety risks for patients and staff in healthcare facilities.
Using alcohol to disinfect healthcare surfaces
Alcohol is often the poor cousin when it comes to articles written about disinfectants used in healthcare. Bleach, (sodium hypochlorite), quaternary ammonium compounds and more recently hydrogen peroxide, peracetic acid and UV technology feature largely in the research literature. However, alcohol as a disinfectant is extremely common in healthcare facilities and is commonly used alongside other cleaning and disinfectant agents. So it was refreshing to read an article by John M Boyce, a renowned infection prevention and control expert, who presented an overview of using alcohol products to disinfect healthcare surfaces (Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology 2018; 1 6.)