High level disinfection of a home care device; to boil or not to boil?

K. L. Winthrop, N. Homestead

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


We developed a percutaneous electrical transducer for home therapy of chronic pain, a device that requires high level disinfection between uses. The utility of boiling water to provide high level disinfection was evaluated by inoculating transducer pads with potential skin pathogens (Staphylococcus aureus, Mycobacterium terrae, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Candida albicans) and subjecting them to full immersion in water boiling at 4200 feet elevation (95°C). Log 10 reductions in colony-forming units (cfu) at 10min were 7.1, >6.3 and >5.5 for S. aureus, P. aeruginosa and C. albicans, respectively, but only 4.6 for M. terrae. At 15min the reductions had increased to 7.5, >6.8, >6.6 and >7.5cfu, respectively.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)262-264
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Hospital Infection
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2012


  • Boiling
  • High level disinfection
  • Home medical device
  • Percutaneous device
  • Thermal disinfection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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