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Efficacy of ethylene oxide–sterilized waterproof cases for handheld cameras as sterile barriers for intraoperative imaging and recording

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  • 1 From the Departments of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32608.
  • | 2 Comparative, Diagnostic, and Population Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32608.
  • | 3 Clinical Microbiology, Parasitology and Serology, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32608.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To evaluate the efficacy of ethylene oxide (EtOH) sterilization of 4 different waterproof camera cases and the ability of those sterilized cases to maintain a sterile barrier for intraoperative camera use.

SAMPLE

3 action cameras, 1 smartphone, and associated waterproof cases.

PROCEDURES

Cases were inoculated by immersion in medium containing Staphylococcus pseudintermedius, Escherichia coli, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa and then manually cleaned and subjected to EtOH sterilization. Cameras were disinfected, loaded into sterile cases, and sterilely operated for 2 hours. Samples were collected from cases after inoculation, EtOH sterilization, camera loading, and 1 and 2 hours of operation and from all cameras after 2 hours of operation. Procedures were repeated twice, followed by an additional challenge round wherein cameras were purposefully contaminated prior to loading. All samples underwent bacterial culture.

RESULTS

All cases were successfully sterilized, and loading of nonsterile cameras into sterile cases caused no contamination when cameras had been disinfected beforehand. Nonpathogenic environmental contaminants were recovered from 6 of 64 culture samples and 2 of 4 room samples. During the challenge round, only the postload sample for 1 case yielded E coli, suggesting sterile glove contamination; however, postload, 1-hour, and 2-hour samples for the GoPro case yielded E coli and S pseudintermedius, suggesting major contamination.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Results suggested that the evaluated cases can be safely sterilized with EtOH and used for image acquisition by aseptically prepared surgeons when cameras are disinfected prior to loading. Except for the GoPro camera, camera use did not jeopardize sterile integrity.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To evaluate the efficacy of ethylene oxide (EtOH) sterilization of 4 different waterproof camera cases and the ability of those sterilized cases to maintain a sterile barrier for intraoperative camera use.

SAMPLE

3 action cameras, 1 smartphone, and associated waterproof cases.

PROCEDURES

Cases were inoculated by immersion in medium containing Staphylococcus pseudintermedius, Escherichia coli, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa and then manually cleaned and subjected to EtOH sterilization. Cameras were disinfected, loaded into sterile cases, and sterilely operated for 2 hours. Samples were collected from cases after inoculation, EtOH sterilization, camera loading, and 1 and 2 hours of operation and from all cameras after 2 hours of operation. Procedures were repeated twice, followed by an additional challenge round wherein cameras were purposefully contaminated prior to loading. All samples underwent bacterial culture.

RESULTS

All cases were successfully sterilized, and loading of nonsterile cameras into sterile cases caused no contamination when cameras had been disinfected beforehand. Nonpathogenic environmental contaminants were recovered from 6 of 64 culture samples and 2 of 4 room samples. During the challenge round, only the postload sample for 1 case yielded E coli, suggesting sterile glove contamination; however, postload, 1-hour, and 2-hour samples for the GoPro case yielded E coli and S pseudintermedius, suggesting major contamination.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Results suggested that the evaluated cases can be safely sterilized with EtOH and used for image acquisition by aseptically prepared surgeons when cameras are disinfected prior to loading. Except for the GoPro camera, camera use did not jeopardize sterile integrity.

Contributor Notes

Address correspondence to Dr. Fox-Alvarez (walvarez@ufl.edu).

Sterile in this context refers to someone who has scrubbed and gowned as for routine surgery.

Refer to the instructions included with the camera for live streaming to other devices for remote viewing of the surgical procedure.