The FDA is reminding healthcare professionals about the safe use of non-sterile alcohol prep pads to clean and disinfect the surface of the skin. This reminder comes in light of the recent recall of Triad Group alcohol prep pads and swabs due to concerns of potential contamination with Bacillus cereus. The FDA advises that healthcare professionals check the labeling of alcohol prep pads to determine if it is sterile or non-sterile. If a pad does not state "sterile" on the label, healthcare professionals should be aware that they are using a non-sterile pad.
Non-sterile alcohol prep pads are not intended to prepare patients prior to procedures requiring strict sterility measures and should not be used on patients with a depressed immune system, to prep patients for catheter insertion, or to prep patients prior to surgery. The FDA recommends sterile antiseptics (including chlorhexidine gluconate, alcohol or iodine applicators, pads, and swabs) in settings where patients are more susceptible to infections (ie, hospitals).