QUAD A Issues Guidance on Sanitizing and Storing Laryngoscope Blades and Laryngeal Mask Airways (LMAs)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDA) consider laryngoscope blades and LMAs to be semi-critical equipment under the Spaulding Classification.  According to CDC and Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC), this equipment must be either sterilized or high-level disinfected (HLD) per the manufacture’s instructions for use (IFUs) because they come into contact with the patient’s mucous membranes of the respiratory tract.  QUAD A recently posted guidance for its accredited facilities indicating that surveyors will review compliance with this requirement.

Furthermore, “[l]aryngoscope blades and LMAs must be stored to maintain a level of cleanliness, not sterility. They do not need to be sterilized in a peel pouch. The use of either sterilization or HLD is acceptable depending upon the IFUs for the individual item.”  For reusable LMAs, a tracking system must be implemented that comports with the IFUs, showing the maximum number of times they may be resterilized, which typically is 10 sterilization cycles.

QUAD A surveyors will:

  • evaluate whether the equipment is sanitized for the next patient in accordance with these requirements.
  • verify the number of times the reusable LMA has been resterilized.
  • Issue citations if laryngoscope blades are on the anesthesia cart with no identification of having been sanitized with HLD, at a minimum.
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