Tourniquets used in peripheral venipuncture as a potential vehicle for transmission of microorganisms: scoping review

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Anabela Salgueiro-Oliveira
Vânia Oliveira
Paulo Costa
Fernando Gama
João Graveto
Pedro Parreira
Nádia Osório


Introduction: The tourniquet used in venipuncture appears as a potential vehicle for the transmission of microorganisms that interferes with safety and the quality

of clinical services. Objective: Mapping the scientific evidence on the microbiological contamination of the tourniquets used in peripheral venipuncture.

Methodology: Scoping review following the Joanna Briggs Institute methodology.

Results: 20 studies have been included, in which of 1477 tourniquets were analyzed. The rates of microbiological contamination varied between 10-100% and 19 studies reported the presence of S. aureus, 11 of them detected methicillin-resistant strains with prevalence between 3.3-58.3%. Conclusion: The contamination rate in the majority of studies was ?70%, including 4 studies which had sampled ?100 tourniquets. The evidence of our study is that the tourniquets are reservoirs of potential pathogens and can be transmitted to patient on staff hands. We recommend studies that confirm the reusable tourniquets can be responsible to healthcare associated infections.

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