Used Restraint Devices: Potential Infection-Hazards On Handcuffs In Ghana
Mary Adu Kumi, Isaac Nyamekye, John Adu Kumi, Benjamin Adu Kumi
Keywords: Handcuffs, Risks, infectious diseases, public health, restraint devices
Abstract: The incidence of unknown routes of infectious diseases has become a major public health concern. Restraint devices such as handcuffs used by selected security agency from three (3) Police Stations in Accra were investigated for bacterial contamination. Five (5) handcuffs including two (2) slightly used ones, two (2) frequently used ones and one (1) sealed unused handcuff was purposely selected for the study. The presence and quantity of Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli and total coliforms on the handcuffs were measured. The Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli and coliforms showed positive on all the four (4) used handcuffs but were not found on the sealed, unused handcuff. There was more contamination on frequently used handcuffs than slightly used ones. The presence and quantity of bacterial contaminants indicated Staphylococcus aureus (64%), Escherichia coli (8%) and total coliforms (28%). This shows that, used handcuffs harbour pathogenic bacteria, and could serve as potential routes of infectious diseases among users. This requires sensitization of the public on the cleaning of handcuffs between uses with disinfectants. Education on the use and cleaning of handcuff to users and security agencies could enhance environmental hygiene of restraint devices.
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