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Hygiene and infections

A certain number of nosocomial infection committees have stressed that the use of ice bags could constitute a risk of contamination linked to various factors:

  • action by hand contact,
  • risk of cross-transmission *
  • use of non-sterile water for the production of ice,
  • reuse of (ice) bags: bags that do not withstand repeated disinfection
  • leak from the ice pack: release of non-sterile water onto the dressing. When the skin is damaged or burned, it loses its protective role and becomes an open door to infection. Complete healing of the skin takes between 18 and 24 months (study: ‘Hygiene and physiotherapy’, hôtel Dieu de France, University Hospital, University saint joseph, prepared by Zakhia Naoum Khalifé and Mario Abi Najem)

Various studies show the risks associated with the use of ice from ice machines. These risks are as follows:

  • contamination by inappropriate handling: fecal bacteria, Staphylococcus aureus, (study: ‘l’eau dans les établissements de santé����� [�����water in health establishments���] Coterehos committee March 95)
  • contamination of stagnant water: * Pseudomonas, Legionella (study: ‘l’eau dans les établissements de santé’ [‘water in health establishments’] Coterehos committee March 95)
  • presence of mycobacteria detected in ice machines: Revue du Rhumatisme, Infections ostéoarticulaires �� mycobactéries atypique [Osteoarticular Infections with atypical mycobacteria], January 2006
  • risk of Legionnaires’: study: ‘Epidémie de Légionellose, Conduite à tenir’ [‘Legionnaires’ epidemic, behavior to follow���], Guy Meyer, Hôpital Europ������en Georges Pompidou, Paris, June 2005