Hands-off! Using a Spray Application Delivery System to Impact Bacterial Contamination of Moisture Barriers


Background: The potential for bacterial contamination of tubes containing ointments and creams are well known. During incontinence care, large amounts of fecal bacterial spread to intact and impair skin barrier as well as to the caregiver’s gloved hands may occur. If the utmost attention to detail is not provided to, contamination of the moisture barrier tube tips and possibly, the barrier ointment or cream, may occur. Previous spray formulations used in wound care have a caregiver perceptions associated with reduced wound contamination.

Project Purpose and Method: To determine if environmental bacterial and cross-contamination is reduced with a touchless spray delivery of protective barriers (TSB) * versus traditional rub on, flip-top, tube packaged protective barriers (TBT). Ten tubes of TBT used for a minimum of one week for patient care were cultured at the rim of the opening and compared to the cultures of the TSB nozzle .
Results: Cultures show a quantifiable difference between TSB and TBT, suggesting that cross-contamination is reduced with TSB.

Conclusion: While all medication delivery systems can be a potential source of bacterial cross-contamination, those with spray delivery systems to prevent reintroducing bacteria to the incontinent patient with actual or potential loss of the transepidermal barrier should be considered when using barrier preparations.

*Touchless Care® Clear Protectant Spray and Touchless Care® Zinc Oxide Protectant Spray, Crawford Healthcare, Inc. Doylestown, PA.

1. Weir, Dorothy; Farley, Kathleen L. Relative delivery efficiency and convenience of spray and ointment formulations of papain/urea/chlorophyllin enzymatic wound therapies. JWOCN.