Sterilization/Disinfection

Latest Issue of OR Manager
December 2020
Home Sterilization/Disinfection

New recommendations issued for instrument care and cleaning

New recommendations developed from evidence-based research have been added to AORN’s Guideline for Care and Cleaning of Surgical Instruments. Several of these changes will have an impact on the quality of processing in sterile processing (SP) areas. This latest version, released on October 12, 2020, includes industry changes that have…

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By: Susan Klacik, BS, CRCST, ACE, CIS, FCS
November 17, 2020
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Reprocessing N95 masks with hydrogen peroxide vapor

Editor's Note This study, led by researchers from Memorial Hermann Texas Medical Center, Houston, is the first to use hydrogen peroxide vapor (HPV) technology on a large scale to reprocess N95 masks in a healthcare system. The researchers were able to recapture and reprocess 29,706 N95 masks using HPV, with…

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By: Judy Mathias
October 22, 2020
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Faulty bronchoscope reprocessing raises risks of infection transmission

Preventing infection transmission has been a chief concern of healthcare leaders and staff striving to protect their patients and themselves from SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. The virus poses an insidious threat that includes the possibility of bronchoscopy-associated transmission of COVID-19. Long before the pandemic, epidemiologist and researcher Cori…

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By: Judith M. Mathias, MA, RN
October 21, 2020
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Timely delivery needed to ensure safety of loaned instruments

Imagine that during a total joint surgical procedure, debris comes out of a surgical instrument and lands directly inside a patient’s open wound. Although such a scenario is rare, when it does occur, it creates a major patient infection risk. Many standards and guidelines recommend best practices that can help…

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By: Susan Klacik, BS, CRCST, ACE, CIS, FCS
October 21, 2020
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Susceptibility of SARS-CoV-2 to UV irradiation

Editor's Note In this study from Germany, researchers found that the SARS-CoV-2 virus is highly susceptible to irradiation with ultraviolet (UV) light. High viral loads (5x106TCID50/mL) were inactivated in 9 minutes with UVC (254 nm) irradiation. The UVC dose required for complete inactivation was 1,048 mJ/cm2. Exposure to UVA (365…

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By: Judy Mathias
September 23, 2020
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Restoring filtration efficiency after decontamination of used N95 masks

Editor's Note In this study, researchers from India’s Tata Institute of Fundamental Research and Israel’s Technion-IIT discover how to recharge used N95 masks after decontamination to recover their 95% efficiency. Also included is a proof-of-concept construction of a battery-operated smart mask. N95 masks are 95% efficient at filtering out 0.3…

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By: Judy Mathias
September 14, 2020
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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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