There are many products that are available for preventing infections. Wipes for cleaning surfaces, wipes for cleaning medical devices (hubs and connectors), solutions and wipes for cleaning the skin before insertion of central and peripheral cannulas and before surgical procedures.
To some, it may seem confusing as to which product is appropriate and whether you should be using a licenced medicine, a medical device or a product introduced under the biocidal products directives.
However, it is all very simple:
• Think about what you are about to do
• Read the package label
If the indication on the package label does not cover what you are intending to do, then you have picked up the wrong product. It is obviously not intended for what you are about to do. This means that it probably does not have the required licence and the relevant published clinical evidence base.
You may be about to use a licenced product outside its label or a product without a licence. There are guidelines and standards set by the GMC, NMC and RPS to follow in these situations. They all include a discussion with the patient to obtain informed consent. The NMC, in particular, require the nurse to check the label before administration.
So go on – read the label, before your patient does. Make sure the product you are using is indicated for that purpose.
• Products that are for ‘disinfection of medical devices’ are not indicated for use on the skin
• Products that are ‘not for therapeutic application’ are not indicated for use on the skin as part of a surgical or invasive procedure