The UK Health Security Agency has issued guidance on good practice for the cleaning and handling of incubators and other equipment in neonatal units.
The advice warns that, without effective cleaning, harmful bacteria can persist in neonatal units resulting in neonatal colonisation, infections and unit outbreaks with associated morbidity and mortality.
Potential pathogens have been found within the neonatal environment, predominantly on the surfaces and component parts of equipment within a bedspace area, including incubator surfaces and door ports, dedicated stethoscopes, incubator blankets and less commonly on shared equipment, such as milk warmers, present in the unit.
The guidance highlights the importance of ensuring incubators and other equipment are always cleaned appropriately and managed to the highest standards. This includes incubators in neonatal units, theatre, and ambulance transfer vehicles.