External bacterial contamination of local anaesthetic cartridges.
In this study external bacterial contamination of local anaesthetic cartridges from newly opened and open containers was examined. Colonies of mainly Gram-positive cocci and Gram-positive rods were grown from cartridges from both the freshly opened and open containers. However, the total number of colonies grown from open containers was significantly higher than that from freshly opened ones. It was concluded that where local anaesthetic cartridges are bulk-packed in containers, strict infection control measures are to be instituted in clinical practice. We suggest that these include keeping containers tightly capped, removing cartridges only when needed, using forceps to handle cartridges and swabbing cartridges with alcohol prior to loading into syringes.