A novel disinfection protocol using ATP testing for lead garments in the electrophysiology lab.

Nishaki Mehta, Beaumont Health


PURPOSE: Electrophysiology procedures pose infection risk and require surgical room sterility. Currently, there is no universally approved protocol for disinfecting lead garments in the electrophysiology laboratory. This study explores the feasibility of using ATP testing to assess the microbial burden of lead aprons and evaluates the impact of a sanitary intervention.

METHODS: Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) testing is a well-established hospital standard to quantify biological matter on a surface and, by proxy, the microbial burden. It is measured in RLU (relative light units). Pre-intervention ATP testing was performed on 34 lead garments after use for electrophysiology procedures. The thyroid collar, mid-chest vest, and left axillary areas of the garments were swabbed using a Hygiena SystemSure II luminometer with ATP swabs (Hygiena, Camarillo, CA). These sites were then disinfected with disinfectant wipes (PDI Super Sani-cloth Germicidal Disposable Wipe) and ATP testing was repeated.

RESULTS: The mean duration of garment wear was 213 min. The thyroid collars had the highest mean RLU before intervention, followed by the mid-chest vest and the left axillary areas. The intervention was found to significantly decrease ATP readings for all three sites (p = 0.0002, p = 0.0001, p = 0.0002 respectively). Linear regression modeling to assess the impact of intervention showed a significant correlation with pre-intervention ATP values for all three sites but no correlation with fluoroscopy time, fluoroscopy dose, or total time spent within the procedure.

CONCLUSIONS: Lead garments harbor microbial contamination after use according to ATP testing. A sanitary intervention can decontaminate lead garments and potentially reduce rates of hospital infection.