Efficacy of an Ethanol-Based Hand Sanitizer for the Disinfection of Blood Pressure Cuffs

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2019 Nov 7;16(22):4342. doi: 10.3390/ijerph16224342.


Blood pressure cuffs (BP cuffs) have been implicated in some nosocomial outbreaks. We compared the efficacy of an ethanol-based hand sanitizer (EBHS) with a detergent/disinfectant for the disinfection of BP cuffs. The inner sides of 30 BP cuffs were sampled for bacterial culture. Then, the same area was divided into halves. One half was disinfected by a detergent/disinfectant and the other was disinfected by an EBHS. The bacterial count decreased significantly with both disinfectants (p < 0.0001 compared with before disinfection). The bacterial count decrease seemed greater with the EBHS compared with the detergent/disinfectant, but the difference was not significant. Therefore, within the limits of a single application, the EBHS was an efficacious means of BP cuff disinfection. However, the repeated exposure to emollients contained in EBHS may require further studies before validating these results.

Keywords: blood pressure cuff; disinfection; ethanol; hand rub; hand sanitizer; sphygmomanometer.

MeSH terms

  • Bacteria / drug effects
  • Bacteria / growth & development
  • Bacterial Load
  • Blood Pressure
  • Blood Pressure Determination / instrumentation*
  • Disinfectants / pharmacology*
  • Disinfection / methods*
  • Ethanol / pharmacology*
  • Hand Sanitizers / pharmacology*


  • Disinfectants
  • Hand Sanitizers
  • Ethanol