The FDA has posted a new public health notification about avoiding hazards when using cleaners and disinfectants on electronic medical equipment. It describes the danger of using excess cleaning and disinfecting liquids on certain electronic medical equipment and recommends ways to avoid the risks.

Electronic circuitry can become corroded from disinfecting or cleaning solutions that penetrate equipment housings, causing equipment failure. Equipment malfunctions could result in life-threatening events to patients such as over-infusion of medications, loss of life-supporting drug therapy, and loss of patient ventilation.

Problems have included equipment fires and other damage, equipment malfunctions, and health care worker burns involving infusion pumps, ventilators, patient-controlled analgesia pumps, sequential compression device pumps, telemetry physiological signal receivers and transmitters, infusion fluid warmers, and infant anti-abduction sensors.

The notification may be relevant to any equipment that has unsealed electronic circuitry or components, such as computer workstations, handheld devices, and other monitoring equipment.

For more information, visit the FDA Web site.