Sterilization/Disinfection

Latest Issue of OR Manager
July 2020
Home Sterilization/Disinfection

Potential effect of contaminated bronchoscopes on COVID-19 patients

Editor's Note In this Letter to the Editor, epidemiologist and researcher Cori L. Ofstead, MSPH, and colleagues caution that because of high bronchoscope contamination rates found during routine use in previous studies, the possibility of bronchoscopy-associated transmission of COVID-19 or other pathogens must be considered. Though high-level disinfection should eliminate…

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By: Judy Mathias
July 8, 2020
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Sandia Labs partners with hospitals, manufacturers to increase availability of masks for healthcare workers

Editor's Note Sandia National Laboratories (Albuquerque, New Mexico), one of three National Nuclear Security Administration research and development laboratories in the US, announced on June 22 that it is partnering with hospitals and device manufacturers to increase the availability of respirator masks for healthcare workers. Sandia is helping manufacturers test…

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By: Judy Mathias
June 22, 2020
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Different timetables, similar challenges seen in elective surgical caseloads

Resuming elective surgical procedures is critical for recovering revenue lost during the early phase of the COVID-19 pandemic and treating patients whose health may have been compromised while awaiting surgery. Timetables and protocols for resuming those procedures tend to differ by facility, but OR leaders nationwide feel that “we’re all…

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By: Elizabeth Wood
June 17, 2020
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Is your SPD ready for a post-COVID world?

While responding to demands of the COVID-19 pandemic, perioperative leaders are busy preparing staff and departments for life after the initial shock subsides. Chief among their preparations are strategies to address the glut of demand for surgery due to postponement of elective and nonessential surgical procedures. Naturally, many focus on…

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By: Derrick Bransby, MBA
June 17, 2020
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Implementation of an elastomeric mask program as a strategy to eliminate N95 use, resterilization

Editor's Note Reusable elastomeric masks provide a more durable, less costly, longer term option than N95 masks for healthcare providers during the COVID-19 pandemic, this study finds. Within 1 month of implementing the elastomeric mask program at the Allegheny Health Network’s nine-hospital system in Pennsylvania and Western New York, the…

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By: Judy Mathias
June 15, 2020
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Readying your SPD for a post-COVID world

Editor's Note While responding to demands of the COVID-19 pandemic, perioperative leaders also are busy preparing staff and departments for life after the initial shock subsides. Chief among their preparations are strategies to address the increased demand for surgery because of postponement of elective and nonessential surgical procedures. The sterile…

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By: Judy Mathias
May 14, 2020
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Device safety depends on routine cleaning, maintenance

Routine cleaning and maintenance of the equipment used to process medical devices is important to prevent contamination of medical devices. This article will discuss the required cleaning and maintenance in a sterile processing department (SPD) as well as the guidelines and regulations that inform these practices.   Environmental issues Recommendations…

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By: Susan Klacik, BS, CRCST, ACE, CIS, FCS
May 12, 2020
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Heating could be best way to reprocess N95 respirators

Editor's Note This study from Stanford University tests five methods for disinfecting N95 masks and finds that heating them preserves their filtration efficiency for 50 cycles of disinfection. In the study, instead of analyzing N95 masks, which were needed by healthcare workers, the researchers examined pieces of the fabric used…

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By: Judy Mathias
May 7, 2020
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OSHA issues guidance on reuse, decontamination of N95 respirators

Editor's Note The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) on April 24 issued interim guidance on the reuse and decontamination of N95 and other filtering-facepiece respirators during the COVID-19 pandemic. OSHA notes that the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has identified research that suggests the following methods…

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By: Judy Mathias
April 29, 2020
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Surgeons help create process for disinfecting, reusing N95 masks

Editor's Note In this study from BJC HealthCare and Washington University School of Medicine, St Louis, a multidisciplinary team that included surgeons created a new process for disinfecting and reusing N95 masks, using vaporized hydrogen peroxide. The process allows healthcare workers (HCW) to reuse masks up to 20 cycles, and…

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By: Judy Mathias
April 28, 2020
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