7.6 Safe management of Care Equipment

Care equipment is easily contaminated with blood, other body fluids, secretions, excretions and infectious agents. Consequently it is easy to transfer infectious agents from communal care equipment during care delivery. 

All care equipment should be decontaminated as per Table 5.

Re-useable care equipment used in the community setting such as stethoscopes, syringe drivers and pumps must be decontaminated prior to removal from an individual’s home.  Where this is not possible, they should be bagged and transported back to base for decontamination.

Table 5: Equipment cleaning determined by risk category

Risk category


Medium-risk category

General purpose detergent for routine cleaning.  See Appendix 7 of the NIPCM for cleaning of equipment contaminated with blood or body fluids (including saliva) or it has been used on a patient with a known or suspected infectious pathogen.

High-risk category

Combined detergent/disinfectant solution at a dilution of 1000 ppm av chlorine or general purpose neutral detergent in a solution of warm water followed by a disinfectant solution of 1000ppm av chlorine.