Sterilization/Disinfection

Latest Issue of OR Manager
June 2019
Home Sterilization/Disinfection

What should you do if your sterilizer fails?

A sterilization failure is a significant event. Receiving a positive biological indicator (BI) result from a sterilizer can be devastating and presents a patient safety concern because it could result in infection. This article addresses the proper action to take in the event of a positive BI result and biological…

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By: Susan Klacik, BS, CRCST, CHL, CIS, ACE, FCS
May 17, 2019
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Off-label use of simethicone, lubricants, and tissue glue contributes to endoscope reprocessing failures

Editor's Note The off-label use of defoaming agents, lubricants, and tissue glue is common, and these insoluable substances are not removed during reprocessing, this study finds. Of 69 fully reprocessed endoscopes examined in four hospitals, microbial cultures were positive for 50% or more. The researchers, led by Cori Ofstead, MSPH,…

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By: Judy Mathias
April 23, 2019
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FDA considering additional regulatory actions to reduce duodenoscope risks

Editor's Note The Food & Drug Administration on April 16 announced it is considering additional regulatory actions, including consulting with federal health experts for guidance, to reduce the risks of contamination and infections associated with duodenoscopes. The FDA is also working with manufacturers of disposable duodenoscopes that would make reprocessing…

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By: Judy Mathias
April 23, 2019
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'Coming clean' in the SPD requires collaboration and competency--Part 2

Contaminated surgical instruments pose a danger to patients and to an organization’s bottom line. In Part 1 of this two-part series, we discussed prevention strategies (OR Manager, April 2019, 14-15, 19). In Part 2, the focus is on investigating potential contamination, along with design considerations.   Detective work Despite best…

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By: Cynthia Saver, MS, RN
April 22, 2019
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FDA continues efforts to assess duodenoscope contamination risk

Editor's Note The Food & Drug Administration (FDA) on April 12 announced that it is taking steps to implement additional regulatory actions, including consulting with federal health experts, on how to reduce the risks of contamination and infections linked to duodenoscopes. The agency is also collaborating with manufacturers of disposable…

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By: Judy Mathias
April 18, 2019
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FDA issues statement on trach tube shortages

Editor's Note The Food & Drug Administration on April 12 issued a statement about the agency’s efforts to mitigate the shortage of Smiths Medical’s Bivona tracheostomy tubes, especially the pediatric tubes. The shortage is a result of the closure of a large ethylene oxide sterilization facility in Willowbrook, Illinois, and there…

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By: Judy Mathias
April 17, 2019
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'Coming clean' in the SPD requires collaboration and competency--Part 1

Contaminated surgical instruments made ECRI Institute’s 2019 annual top 10 list of health technology hazards, coming in at number five: “Mishandling flexible endoscopes after disinfection can lead to patient infections.” Number two on the list in 2018 was “Endoscope reprocessing failures continue to expose patients to infection risk.” It’s not…

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By: Cynthia Saver, MS, RN
March 15, 2019
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Elevating standard of endoscope reprocessing with terminal sterilization of duodenoscopes

Editor's Note Terminal sterilization of duodenoscopes can be achieved with a hydrogen peroxide-ozone sterilizer, this study finds. A sterility assurance level of 10-6 was achieved under laboratory worst-case conditions and under clinical conditions using a hydrogen peroxide-ozone sterilizer with regulatory clearance for terminal sterilization of duodenoscopes (STERIZONE VP4, TSO3 Inc,…

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By: Judy Mathias
February 28, 2019
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'Noncritical' OR items deserve due diligence in disinfection

Much emphasis has been placed on high-level disinfection over the past several years; however, low- and intermediate-level disinfection are also performed in healthcare facilities and are an important part of an infection prevention program. Noncritical items, defined by the Spaulding Classification as those that may contact intact skin, are cleaned…

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By: Susan Klacik, BS, CRCST, CHL, CIS, ACE, FCS
February 20, 2019
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New structure puts SPD staff on firmer footing

Perioperative leaders, including those in the sterile processing department (SPD), need to know when to make sweeping—not just incremental—changes to improve workflow and optimize the talents of their staff. Sometimes gains in productivity and staff satisfaction depend not only on identifying process improvements but also on placing staff in areas…

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By: Cynthia Saver, MS, RN
December 13, 2018
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