Sherrie Dornberger, RNC, CDONA, FACDONA, executive director, NADONA

With all of the talk about infection prevention, I was wondering is there any literature or information on storing our updraft and oxygen tubing? (Currently, after it’s used at my facility, it’s placed in a plastic baggy at the bedside. We do this to keep it clean, but it looks like mold also could be growing in the bag when I open it to remove the updraft tubing.)

I did find a special bag that is sold at many large distributors at It is a non-plastic, mesh-type bag.

Their bags are recommended to be changed once per month, which will save time and money. Respiratory tubing should not be stored in any plastic. 

The respiratory system easily is the largest cause of nosocomial infections. 

Each year, 2 million patients in the U.S. are infected and 100,000 die as a result. More than $30 billion is spent treating these infections, many of which are preventable. It’s also estimated that 70% of HAI-causing bacteria are antibiotic-resistant. 

The adherence of bacteria examined was the highest on polyethylene catheters, according to 

Some common literature emphasizes that storing oxygen tubing in plastic bags is a big no-no. Plus, some of us may tend to want to keep plastic bags around for awhile. They should actually be changed weekly.

Some other good resources and literature on this topic:

• MRSA & VRE Survived over 90 days on Plastic. Journal of Clinical Microbiology

• The adherence of bacteria examined was the highest on polyethylene catheters.