Appropriate decontamination of breast pump milk collection kits (BPKs) is critical
to obtain safe milk for infants and to avoid discarding donor human milk (DHM).
To evaluate two strategies for BPK decontamination by assessing microbial cultures
and the proportion of discarded DHM, according to the criteria of the National Institute
for Health and Care Excellence for pre-pasteurization cultures.
Prospective comparative study, allocation ratio 1:1, microbiologist-blind.
47 new donors in a human milk bank in Madrid.
Study group (N=21): BPKs washed with water and detergent after each use and further steam decontamination
within a microwavable bag. Control group (N=26): washing, rinsing and drying only. Five samples: first sample by hand expression
and four samples (one per week) collected using the same pump and method.
Primary: proportion of DHM discarded due to contamination. Secondary: comparison of
the microbiota between samples obtained by hand expression and breast pump in both
In total, 217 milk samples were collected: 47 by hand expression and 170 by pump expression
(78 from study group). Steam decontamination of BPKs using a microwavable bag after
washing resulted in a lower proportion of discarded DHM samples (1.3% vs 18.5%, P<0.001) and samples contaminated with Enterobacteriaceae (1.3% vs 22.8%, P<0.001) and Candida spp. (1.3% vs 14.1%, P<0.05) compared with samples collected with BPKs that were washed but not steam decontaminated.
There were no differences in bacterial contamination between samples obtained using
steam decontaminated BPKs and those obtained by hand expression.
Steam decontamination of BPKs using a microwavable bag after washing decreases the
amount of discarded DHM and the number of samples with potentially pathogenic bacteria.