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HIV and AIDS

Can Surgical Equipment Used For Treatment of Hemorrhoids Be Properly Sterilized

08/26/2004

Question:

Can surgical equipment used in Infrared Coagulation treatment of hemorroids be properly sterilized after it has used on a patient with HIV?

Answer:

There are several different "nonsurgical" therapies currently in use to treat internal hemorrhoids, including infrared or laser coagulation, injection sclerotherapy and rubber band ligation. Each therapy listed requires anoscopy at the same time in order to visualize the hemorrhoid to be treated. In order to be reused on another patient, an anoscope and any other medical equipment that touches mucous membranes should receive high-level disinfection, including cleaning before disinfection to remove protein and debris that could interfere with subsequent disinfection. If medical equipment is designed to be used on more than one patient, the manufacturer must recommend the appropriate sterilization or disinfection procedure to be used with that equipment before it can be marketed in the U.S. Standard disinfection procedures for patient care equipment are adequate to disinfect instruments or devices contaminated with blood or other body fluids from persons infected with blood-borne pathogens, including HIV.

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Response by:

Lisa A Haglund, MD Lisa A Haglund, MD
Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati