24 hour monitors- do they sterilize the attachments

On Monday I had another 24 hour monitor (bp and heart rate) and have had terrible itching where the cuff and belt touched my body. I tried to keep something under the belt - but obviously it moved during the intermittent sleep I managed to have.

The cuff and belt I had was very scruffy and I wondered how clean it was.

My question is - do they sterilize the attachments between patients and when I need the next one, is it possible to put a clean sheet of cloth under the cuff to avoid skin contact.

13 Replies

  • Good question. When in hospital nurses go through the wards taking patients blood pressure and pulse with one of these machines and no I've never seen them put on any clean parts. I've always wondered if this is how D&V infections are spread.

  • It doesn't bear thinking about ............don't even mention commodes!!

  • Can't answer your questions - sterilisation may vary from one place to another and I don't know whether a bit of fabric can be inserted - but consider yourself lucky you didn't have 7 day monitoring. I was euphoric when I handed my ECG monitor back after almost a week of constant itching. It was days if not more than a week before the skin returned to normal. I know the adhesive stickers, limpets, whatever you like to call them were new. I had a few extra ones - not enough to replace on a daily basis - so that I could have the occasional shower.

    I have once (and it was quite enough) had a 24 hour blood pressure monitor and found its sporadic activity very noticeable.

    The other thing is that one doesn't necessarily get much or any feedback from these tests. They are for diagnostic purposes and help to paint a fuller picture to the experts, but in my experience you have to ask if you want info about echocardiograms or these monitors that have their ways of making you dislike them intensely.

    I have never had a wipe of sanitising fluid before or after I've had my blood pressure taken.

  • Does anyone know a way to get rid of the sticky residue left by the heart monitor adhesive stickers? I think I've tried just about everything and the harder you try to wash it off the more itchy and sore the skin, where they have been, becomes.

  • Surgical spirit works very well but dries the skin so use moisturizer afterwards.

  • Thank you for your recommendation I tried surgical spirit, but my skin is so sensitive it flared up really bad in raised red blotches after using this. My skin once aggravated doesn't like being in contact or being rubbed with anything. Now I'm wondering how I can use up that large bottle of surgical spirit. does anyone know of any other uses for it?

  • Hi jeanjeannie50. Have you tried baby wipes or E45 bath oil. Both work for me. My skin always reacts to these stickers and leaves a rough patch which takes a couple of weeks to go away. You can ask for stickers for sensitive skin but not all places have them Hope this helps.

  • No I haven't tried them, but have both in the house and will give them a try next time. Thank you

  • They do not sterilize the belt and it usually does look pretty scruffy. Most offices do wipe it down with some alcohol between uses. The rationale behind not sterilizing it is that it supposedly is not a surface where bacteria can thrive. That said I would go all over it with some sort of antibacterial cloths. As for getting off the adhesive residue, if the baby wipes don't work you can always use a little nail polish removal cloth. I am highly allergic to those sticky things, even the hypoallergenic version, and my skin is a mess even after a quick EKG.. I do not have the skin needed to have a heart issue. One more reason to stay healthy :-) Have a great day.

  • Thank you for your responses. I am still scratching a little but not as badly as the reaction I had to the 7 day stickers.

    I was just concerned about sharing something that somebody else had worn.

  • Zof plaster remover is very good, & gentle on the skin.

  • Thank you, that's a good old fashioned remedy, I didn't know it was still available. Will get some when I next need it. I did ask my pharmacist once and was told that there are some wipes that the doctor can prescribe. However when last in hospital I asked what I could use and they gave me some wipes, but they didn't do much.

  • as there are no body fluids involved unlikely to catch anything if our own hygiene is of a good standard. Lots of us have had them and no one said they caught anything. The itching is a problem and removing the residue is a long process i tried nail varnish remover last time but chemist do sell things to remove plaster adhesive so that may help

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