As a trauma nurse, one rainy evening I was caring for a severely injured motor vehicle accident patient. This patient hit a wall at high speed and was rapidly bleeding out from his massive injuries. The blood was everywhere and soaked the blood pressure cuff. We stabilized the patient and moved him to surgery where he coded and did not survive his injuries.
I returned to the same trauma bay and began to care for another motor vehicle accident victim that had cuts all over the upper body from flying glass. The same blood soaked blood pressure cuff from the first patient was wrapped snugly on the arm of the second victim. Immediately I knew that this patient had direct blood to blood exposure. Several weeks later, the Medical Examiner sent a letter stating that the patient that died had Hepatitis B and HIV. The MVA patient that hit the wall was in fact a suicide.
This incident motivated me to invent a protective cover for the blood pressure cuff that would protect my patients from cross-contamination. We began manufacturing Cuff-Guard
I looked for any research on blood pressure cuff contamination and found many articles. They all had the same theme: blood pressure cuffs were contaminated and often bloody. There is no effective method to disinfect the reusable cuffs and a low cost cover is the only effective barrier for the patient to patient contact.
The advent of new drug resistant disease has made it imperative to look at preventing the spread of pathogens by contaminated medical equipment. In the event of mass casualty or biological/chemical exposure, the blood pressure cuff would spread this contamination from patient to patient. Cuff-Guard is a low cost solution to this problem of cuff contamination.