Disposables & Reusables

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August 2020
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Defining 'wants' vs 'needs' drives success of instrument standardization

Hospitals nationwide have thousands of unique instrument trays that take up valuable space on their shelves. Many trays are cluttered with rarely used instruments that are there “just in case.” The problem can be particularly acute in large health systems. Across Cleveland Clinic’s multiple locations in northeast Ohio, for example,…

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By: Judith M. Mathias, MA, RN
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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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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IUSS sterilizes N95 masks without damaging masks

Editor's Note In this study from the Houston Methodist Research Institute, immediate-use steam sterilization (IUSS) using a Steris Amsco Evolution HC1500 PreVac Steam Sterilizer autoclave was performed on N95 masks. Masks were wrapped in paper-plastic sterilization peel pouches (Medical Action Industries 8” role, Ref 422R). A chemical indicator and biological…

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By: Judy Mathias
April 22, 2020
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FDA updates actions taken in response to COVID-19

Editor's Note Among the actions announced April 15 by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) in response to the COVID-19 pandemic are: Issuance of two new emergency use authorizations (EUAs) for serology tests, to detect for presence of coronavirus antibodies, to Ortho-Clinical Diagnostics, Inc, and Chembio Diagnostic systems, Inc. Issuance…

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By: Judy Mathias
April 16, 2020
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Study: Anesthetic management of patients with suspected COVID-19 during emergency surgical procedures

Editor's Note This retrospective, multicenter study from four hospitals in Wuhan, China, found that Novel Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) specific guidelines for emergency surgical procedures in patients with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 infection can effectively prevent cross-infection in the OR. The guidelines include: negative pressure ORs level 3 protective measures for…

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By: Judy Mathias
March 5, 2020
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Nuts and bolts of new technology acquisition--Part 2

Technology acquisitions require OR leaders to weigh the competing demands of stakeholders—including physicians, nursing staff, the finance department, and patients—and to make sure they address those demands when justifying a new purchase. “New technology can be what’s needed to keep competitive in the current environment,” says Beth Bozzelli, MBA, RN,…

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By: Cynthia Saver, MS, RN
February 21, 2020
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