Journal Articles

‘Multi-use’ versus ‘Single patient’: Lister scissors use in leg ulceration care

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‘Multi-use’ versus ‘Single patient’: Lister scissors use in leg ulceration care

Allison Sykes, Fania Pagnamenta
18 March 2022

Background: Leg ulcers have a 1% prevalence in the UK population, and they are usually treated with compression bandages. These need to be renewed at least once per week. Best practice is to cut the bandages using a Lister scissor. Aims: This study aimed to understand if non-sterile Lister scissors can be wiped with a disinfectant wipe in-between patients or require sterilisation. Methods: Lister scissors, used to remove patients’ compression bandages were swabbed after having been cleaned with a sanitising wipe. Once cleaned, the scissors were placed on a clean, untouched, paper towel to dry. The scissors were then swabbed. We swabbed 16 scissors (n=16) after use on 16 different patients. Findings: Of the samples 43.7% had residual bacterial growth despite thorough cleaning. Conclusion: This small study highlights the difficulty to clean reusable non-sterile Lister scissors with disinfectant wipes. It is therefore recommended that sterile, single patient use Lister scissors are used to cut leg ulcer bandages.

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