Bloodborne Pathogens

Latest Issue of OR Manager
February 2021
Home Periop Nursing > Perioperative Practice > Bloodborne Pathogens

Joint Commission issues Quick Safety on dangers of surgical smoke

Editor's Note The Joint Commission on December 15 issued a new Quick Safety that focuses on the dangers presented by surgical smoke. Surgical smoke is a byproduct created by the thermal destruction of tissue with lasers, electrosurgical systems, radio frequency devices, hyfrecators, ultrasonic scalpels, power tools, and other devices. Studies…

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By: Judy Mathias
January 4, 2021
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The sharp end of safety: The fight to reduce needlestick injuries

Each December, the international medical community marks Sharps Safety Awareness Month, which serves as a powerful reminder of the significant risks from injuries caused by needlesticks and surgical sharps faced by surgeons, nurses, and other clinicians in their daily lives. Every needlestick injury incurred in the OR comes with a…

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By: Eric Davis, MS, BSN, RN, CNOR
December 15, 2020
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Study: Inadequate precleaning can jeopardize sterilization of surgical tools

Editor's Note This study by William A. Rutala, PhD, MPH, and colleagues at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, which compared three low-temperature sterilization technologies to steam sterilization of simulated inadequately precleaned surgical tools, found steam sterilization to be the most effective and with the largest margin of…

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By: Judy Mathias
February 26, 2020
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Challenges in achieving high-level endoscope disinfection

Editor's Note In this review article, Cori L. Ofstead, MSPH, and associates highlight the reasons endoscope reprocessing is often ineffective and microbes frequently remain on endoscopes after high-level disinfection. Among the reasons: non-adherence to guidelines use of damaged endoscopes use of insoluble products during endoscopy insufficient cleaning contaminated rinse water…

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By: Judy Mathias
February 25, 2020
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Trends in infection prevention practices in VA hospitals

Editor's Note From 2005 to 2017, use of 12 infection prevention practices significantly increased in US Veterans Affairs (VA) hospitals, and the adoption of many practices was higher than in non-VA hospitals, this study finds. A total of 320 surveys were completed by infection preventionists in VA hospitals. Between 92%…

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By: Judy Mathias
February 6, 2020
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Use of alcohol-based hand rub on gloves by anesthesia providers

Editor's Note In this study, the use of alcohol-based hand rub on nitrile examination gloves did not compromise glove integrity or hamper the ability of anesthesia providers to safely perform anesthesia functions. A total of 50 new gloves (not exposed to alcohol-based hand rub) were tested for integrity, and one…

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By: Judy Mathias
November 20, 2019
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FDA clears first duodenoscope with disposable elevator component

Editor's Note The Food & Drug Administration (FDA) on November 15 announced that it had cleared for marketing in the US the first duodenoscope with a sterile, disposable elevator component. The clearance of the Pentax Medical Video ED34-i10T2 duodenoscope represents a major step toward lowering the risk of infection in…

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By: Judy Mathias
November 18, 2019
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Needlestick events and reporting among surgical residents

Editor's Note This national survey of surgical residents found that needlesticks occur frequently, many events are not reported, and numerous reporting barriers exist. Of 7,395 respondents from all 260 general surgery residency programs, 27.7% noted experiencing a needlestick in the last 6 months. Most events occurred in the OR (77.5%)…

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By: Judy Mathias
September 26, 2019
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Inspections reveal need to overhaul bronchoscope reprocessing methods

Extensive research by Cori L. Ofstead, MSPH, and her colleagues at Ofstead & Associates (St Paul, Minnesota) has raised concerns about insufficient reprocessing of gastrointestinal endoscopes and ureteroscopes—even when recommended practices are followed—and their new study makes a compelling case for more stringent reprocessing of bronchoscopes as well. In their…

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By: Judith M. Mathias, MA, RN
August 23, 2019
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Proactive policies help protect staff from bloodborne pathogen exposure

Healthcare workers are at risk for bloodborne pathogen exposures in areas ranging from the clinic to the OR—both inpatient and outpatient settings. Such exposures not only cause anxiety, they cost an estimated $3,000 to $5,000 per exposure for things such as baseline and follow-up laboratory testing, treatment of exposed personnel,…

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By: Amy L. Bethel, MPA, RN, NE-BC
August 23, 2019
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