Reusable EEG Electrodes May Put Patients at Risk of Infection
Reusable electroencephalographic (EEG) electrodes are under investigation as a potential source of hospital-acquired infection (HAI). Because the traditional EEG procedure involves abrasion of the skin, EEG electrodes are considered semi-critical devices, which require sterilization or high-level disinfection. Inadequately cleaned reusable cup electrodes may harbor bacteria, blood, and microscopic epithelial cells. Indeed, a break in the skin that occurs when applying EEG scalp electrodes creates the risk of infection from blood-borne pathogens such as HIV, Hepatitis-C, and Creutzfeldt-Jacob Disease.