Are HAIs Lurking on Your Imaging Table?


Healthcare associated infections (HAI) will account for 1.7 million infections this year and cause up to 99,000 patient deaths in the United States alone.

Bacteria, fungus, and viruses are typically responsible for infection, and bacteria alone is responsible for 90 percent of all hospital infections. Many fear bacteria like Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) because of its resistance to antibiotics.

Moreover, it is estimated that $25 billion to $31 billion is spent each year in the U.S. because of HAI. So how can hospitals continue to save lives, prevent infections, and reduce costs?

Throw it away – the role of disposables in infection prevention

According to the World Health Organization, the most common route of transmission is indirect contact. When an infected patient touches an instrument, MRI table, hospital bed, or any surface, it becomes contaminated and the next patient that comes in contact with that object is likely to develop an infection, especially if they are immunocompromised.

While every hospital has a protocol for handwashing and hygiene, hospitals can go further with infection prevention by using disposable medical products. Medical writer, Elizabeth Srejic, points out in her article, "Reusables, Disposables Each Play a Role in Preventing Cross-Contamination," how disposables can help with infection prevention:

“[The] greatest asset of disposables may be their lower likelihood of transmitting infection in comparison to reusables, which are a documented cause of cross-contamination. And in an era of rising costs, morbidity and mortality caused by healthcare-associated infections (HAIs), using proven methods to reduce the spread of infection is paramount.”

Many hospitals already use disposable items that come in contact with the patient - blood pressure cuffs, thermometers, stethoscopes, pulse oximetry devices, bed pans, just to name a few.

How clean are those table straps, really?

The straps on imaging tables play an important role in stabilizing the patient. Most often, motion occurs when patients have an altered mental status, are in pain, or when drugs or alcohol are involved.

The reusable hook and loop straps are used over and over on these patients, dozens of times a day. After each use, they must be cleaned with an anti-bacterial solution.

The required cleaning protocol is more arduous if the patient has vomited, was bleeding, or has MRSA. In these instances, the table straps are either scrubbed and disinfected, or they need to be discarded.

A more hygienic way to stabilize patients during imaging

iFIX patient stabilization system may help control infection via its mix of disposable and reusable parts.

The disposable iFIX Fleece hugs and contours to the patient anatomy and is held in place by the reusable iFIX anchors that are attached to the imaging table.

The Fleece is discarded after each patient use and may reduce the risk of bacterial infection when compared with other stabilization methods. With a variety of slot and patch adapters, the iFIX patient stabilization system is compatible with CT, MRI, and Ultrasound tables.

To learn more about iFIX, contact your Beekley Medical Business Development Manager at 1.800.233.5539 or email

iFIX is distributed by Beekley Corporation to customers within the United States and its territories.

Jonathan McCullough

Jonathan McCullough

Product Manager

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