HomeThe Mindanao Forumvol. 23 no. 1 (2010)

Suction Machines as Fomites: Surveillance for Infection Control in Selected Special Areas and Wards of Gregorio T. Lluch Memorial Hospital, Iligan City

Basil Ruffi L. Acuzar | Kara Monina C. Mampao | Rex Richard A. Obeso

Discipline: Medicine



A suction machine is one of the most commonly used equipment in the hospital mainly used when the patient is unable to mobilize fluids and thus prevents infections related to retained secretions of the respiratory tract. However, maintenance of sterility and proper care of the said equipment found at GTLMH has not been strictly practiced which might be a potential fomite for microbial proliferation. Bacteriological assessment to the said machine was done in order to determine and identify bacterial species and aid in the surveillance for infection control. Acquisition of samples was obtained through swabbing at different parts of the suction machine specifically the inside part of the collection bottle and the inside part of the connection tubing of Gregorio T. Lluch Memorial Hospital (GTLMH), Iligan City from different areas and wards: Emergency room, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), OB-Gyne Emergency Room (OB-ER), Medicine ward, Surgery ward and Pediatric ward. Swab samples were subjected to the conventional method of identification of bacterial species. Neisseria sp. (17.4%), Bacillus sp. (15.2%), and Coagulase-negative Staphylococcus (CONS) (13%), Micrococcus sp. and Proteus sp. (8.7%), Salmonella, Staphylococcus aureusand Shigellasp. (4.3%), Streptococcus sp., Klebsiellasp. and Pseudomonas sp. (2.2%) were among the identified bacterial species. Other gram negative bacteria (17.4%) were still left unidentified. The high rate of admissions and more frequent use of suction machines in the Emergency room may be attributed to the increased incidence of having more bacterial species present compared to other areas in the hospital. The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit yielded the least number of identified bacteria which may be attributed to the sterility of the babies’ respiratory tract. Between the connection tubing and collection bottle, the latter yielded the highest number of bacterial species. Moreover, the parts of the suction machine are not dependent on each other with respect to the total number of types of bacteria present. Accordingly, proper care and maintenance should be observed to reduce, if not, eliminate potential source of nosocomial infection that may pose a threat to patient’s health condition.