Infections Linked to Vapotherm Oxygen Device

Manufacturer revises its decontamination procedures

MONDAY, Oct. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Six children in a Pennsylvania health care facility were found to have respiratory or systemic Ralstonia infections in August 2005 caused by a contaminated Vapotherm humidified oxygen delivery device, according to a report in the Oct. 21 issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Some hospitals have recovered Ralstonia from a reusable filter cartridge attached to the system, despite following the manufacturer's instructions for disinfection. Vapotherm, Inc. has since revised its infection control guidelines, which include a more frequent cleaning schedule and use of sterile water.

In an investigation, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention researchers used pediatric and neonatology e-mail groups to inquire about widespread Ralstonia detection and identified 10 hospitals with positive cultures, some from the Vapotherm device. Five hospitals from as many states reported a total of 18 pediatric patients with positive blood or respiratory cultures; 17 of the patients had used the Vapotherm device before the cultures were obtained.

Ralstonia spp. are typically isolated from plants and soil but have been associated with rare nosocomial outbreaks caused by contaminated solutions. The CDC recommends strictly following the new instructions and other infection-control practices to prevent transmission of the organism as well as other agents.

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Barry Thrash

Barry Thrash

Updated on February 21, 2006

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