Publications by authors named "Tom Sj Elliott"

3 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

The risk of microbial contamination associated with six different needle-free connectors.

Br J Nurs 2018 Jan;27(2):S18-S26

Consultant Microbiologist, University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, Birmingham.

Background: needle-free connectors are widely used in clinical practice. The aim of this study was to identify any differences between microbial ingress into six different connectors (three neutral-displacement, one negative-displacement and two anti-reflux connectors).

Methods: each connector underwent a 7-day clinical simulation involving repeated microbial contamination of the connector's injection ports with Staphylococcus aureus followed by decontamination and then saline flushes through each connector. The simulation was designed to be a surrogate marker for the potential risk of contamination in clinical practice.

Results: increasing numbers of S. aureus were detected in the flushes over the 7 days of sampling despite adherence to a rigorous decontamination programme. Significant differences in the number of S. aureus recovered from the saline flush of some types of connectors were also detected. Two different durations (5- and 15-second) of decontamination of the injection ports with 70% isopropyl alcohol (IPA) wipes were also investigated. There was no significant difference between the median number of S. aureus recovered in the saline flushes following a 5-second (165.5, 95% CI=93-260) or a 15-second decontamination regimen (75, 10-190).

Conclusions: The findings suggest that there may be differences in the risk of internal microbial contamination with different types of connectors and that even 15 seconds of decontamination may not fully eradicate microorganisms from the injection ports of some devices.
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January 2018

The usability and acceptability of a needleless connector system.

Br J Nurs 2007 Mar 8-21;16(5):267-71

Department of Clinical Microbiology and Infection Control, University Hospital Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust.

Needleless connectors were introduced into clinical practice to reduce the rate of needlestick injuries to healthcare workers (HCWs). There have, however, been limited reports of user acceptability of these devices. The usability and acceptability of the Clearlink needleless connector (Baxter Healthcare, UK) was therefore completed by HCWs at University Hospital Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust following a 12-month clinical evaluation. Seventy percent (28/40) of HCWs reported that they would prefer to use Clearlink needleless connectors rather than conventional luers caps, 15% (6/40) would use either, and only 15% (6/40) preferred to use luer caps. In total, 85% of HCWs reported that Clearlink was acceptable to use in the clinical situation. The results demonstrate that comprehensive training and technical support both before and after new device implementation were essential to ensure a smooth transition.
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May 2007

Induction of inflammatory cytokines and nitric oxide in J774.2 cells and murine macrophages by lipoteichoic acid and related cell wall antigens from Staphylococcus epidermidis.

J Med Microbiol 2005 Apr;54(Pt 4):315-321

Molecular Biosciences Research Group, Life and Health Sciences, Aston University, Birmingham B4 7ET, UK 2Department of Clinical Microbiology, Queen Elizabeth Hospital, University Hospital Trust, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2TH, UK.

Staphylococcus epidermidis causes infections associated with medical devices including central venous catheters, orthopaedic prosthetic joints and artificial heart valves. This coagulase-negative staphylococcus produces a conventional cellular lipoteichoic acid (LTA) and also releases a short-glycerophosphate-chain-length form of LTA (previously termed lipid S) into the medium during growth. The relative pro-inflammatory activities of cellular and short-chain-length exocellular LTA were investigated in comparison with peptidoglycan and wall teichoic acid from S. epidermidis and LPS from Escherichia coli O111. The ability of these components to stimulate the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines [interleukin (IL)-1beta, IL-6 and tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha] and nitric oxide was investigated in a murine macrophage-like cell line (J774.2), and in peritoneal and splenic macrophages. On a weight-for-weight basis the short-chain-length exocellular LTA was the most active of the S. epidermidis products, stimulating significant amounts of each of the inflammatory cytokines and nitric oxide, although it was approximately 100-fold less active than LPS from E. coli. By comparison the full-chain-length cellular LTA and peptidoglycan were less active and the wall teichoic acid had no activity. As an exocellular product potentially released from S. epidermidis biofilms, the short-chain-length exocellular LTA may act as the prime mediator of the host inflammatory response to device-related infection by this organism and act as the Gram-positive equivalent of LPS in Gram-negative sepsis. The understanding of the role of short-chain-length exocellular LTA in Gram-positive sepsis may lead to improved treatment strategies.
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April 2005