Sterilization/Disinfection

Latest Issue of OR Manager
February 2018
Home Sterilization/Disinfection

Greater vigilance needed to combat ureteroscope contamination

A new study by Ofstead & Associates (St Paul, Minnesota) is the latest to raise concerns about infections associated with endoscopic procedures. The study, which focused on ureteroscopes, found that the techniques used to clean and sterilize or high-level disinfect flexible ureteroscopes are not sufficient and leave behind contamination including…

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By: Judith M. Mathias, MA, RN
November 15, 2017
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Latest steam sterilization standard available from AAMI

The Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI) in September released the newest version of the ANSI/AAMI ST 79 Comprehensive Guide to Steam Sterilization and Sterility Assurance in Healthcare Facilities. This document, last updated in 2013, has been under a major review for changes in the format presentation and…

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By: Susan Klacik, BS, CRCST, CHL, CIS, ACE, FCS
November 15, 2017
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VA notifies 526 patients at risk from improperly cleaned scopes

Editor's Note The Veterans Affairs Medical Center, in Buffalo, New York, is notifying 526 patients that they may be at risk of infection from improperly cleaned endoscopes, the August 16 Buffalo News reports. A recent hospital review of endoscope disinfection processes found that steps in the manufacturer’s instructions may not…

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By: Judy Mathias
August 21, 2017
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AAHC releases toolkit on endoscope reprocessing

Editor's Note The Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care on July 25 released a new toolkit that focuses on flexible endoscope reprocessing failures. The toolkit is designed to help eliminate failures or lapses in reprocessing through detailed guidelines and checklists in order to mitigate the risk of patient infections. The…

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By: Judy Mathias
August 1, 2017
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Economic benefits of low-temperature vs steam sterilization of endoscopes

Editor's Note This Australian study finds it is a good economic decision for large healthcare facilities to invest in low-temperature systems for sterilization of steam-sterilizable endoscopes. Increased costs associated with low-temperature systems were outweighed by savings from fewer instrument repairs. Based on their calculations, the researchers estimated a savings of…

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By: Judy Mathias
June 29, 2017
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Alcohol fixation of bacteria to instruments increases cleaning difficulty

Editor's Note Treating contaminated surgical instruments with alcohol, allowing them to dry, or allowing them to soak in water for extended periods of time increases cleaning difficulty and may contribute to sterilization inefficacy, this study finds. Soaking or spraying instruments with alcohol significantly reduced viable bacterial numbers, but significantly increased…

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By: Judy Mathias
June 27, 2017
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Joint Commission: HLD, sterilization top challenges for ambulatory health care

Editor's Note Leading the Joint Commission’s Top Ten Challenging Standards for accredited ambulatory health care organizations during the past year was infection control standard IC.02.02.01, EP 2: The organization reduces the risk of infections associated with medical equipment, devices, and supplies by performing a high-level disinfection and sterilization. In 2016,…

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By: Judy Mathias
June 27, 2017
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Study: Ureteroscopes remain contaminated after cleaning, sterilization

Editor's Note Techniques used to clean and sterilize flexible ureteroscopes left behind contamination that included debris, residue, and bacteria, in this study presented June 14 at the 44th Annual Conference of the Association for Professionals in Infection Control. Researchers with Ofstead & Associates (St Paul, Minnesota) sampled 16 ureteroscopes at…

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By: Judy Mathias
June 19, 2017
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FDA releases list of reusable devices requiring new validated IFU, validation data

Editor's Note The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on June 9 released a list of reusable devices that will require new validated instructions for use (IFU) and validation data in premarket notifications regarding cleaning, disinfection, and sterilization. These actions are effective August 8, 2017. The list includes: Bronchoscopes (flexible or…

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By: Judy Mathias
June 12, 2017
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Joint Commission: Safety update on improperly sterilized, HLD equipment

Editor's Note The Joint Commission on May 24 issued a new Quick Safety update on improperly sterilized or high-level disinfected (HLD) equipment, which continues to be a frequently scored noncompliant standard (IC 02.02.01). The update includes expanded safety actions to help leaders oversee sterilization and HLD processes and ensure that…

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By: Judy Mathias
May 25, 2017
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