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OP5  A two armed, randomised, controlled exploratory study of adding the ambugard cleaning system to normal deep cleaning procedures in a regional ambulance service
  1. Graham McClelland1,
  2. Karl Charlton1,
  3. Jacqueline Mains1,
  4. Karen Millican1,
  5. Caroline Cullerton2
  1. 1North East Ambulance Service HQ, UL
  2. 2Freeman Hospital, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK


Background Ambulance services transport patients with infections and diseases and could pose a cross transmission risk to patients and staff through environmental contamination. The literature suggests that environmental pathogens are present on ambulances, cleaning is inconsistent and patient/staff impact is difficult to quantify. Eco-Mist developed a dry misting decontamination system for ambulance use called AmbuGard which works in <30 minutes and is 99.9999% effective against common pathogens. The research question is ‘What pathogens are present on North East Ambulance Service ambulances and what impact does adding the AmbuGard to the deep cleaning process make?’

Methods A two armed, randomised controlled trial enrolled fourteen ambulances during their regular 24 week deep clean which were 1:1 randomised to deep cleaning (control arm) or deep cleaning plus AmbuGard (intervention arm). Polywipe swabs were taken before and after cleaning from five locations selected for high rates of contact (steering wheel, shelf, side door grab rail, patient seat armrest, rear door handle/grab rail). Microbiology culture methods identified the presence and amount of bacterial organisms present including the selected pathogens: Enterococcus spp.; Enterobacter spp.; Klebsiella spp.; Staphylococcus aureus; Acinetobacter spp.; Pseudomonas spp.; Clostridium difficile; coagulase-negative staphylococci (CoNS)). The researcher taking the swabs and the laboratory were blinded to the trial arm.

Results Pathogens of interest were found on 10 (71%) vehicles. CoNS were found on all vehicles. Pathogens were found on all locations swabbed. Normal deep cleaning was effective at eliminating pathogens and the addition of AmbuGard showed no obvious improvement in effectiveness.

Conclusion Pathogens associated with healthcare acquired infections were found throughout all ambulances. Normal deep cleaning was effective and adding AmbuGard showed no obvious improvement. This was a small study at a single point in time. Further research is needed into temporal trends, how to reduce pathogens during normal clinical duties and patient/staff impact.

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