- OSHA Healthcare Advisor - http://blogs.hcpro.com/osha -

Abortion clinic feels the brunt of Vegas aftermath

Not long after last year’s alleged unsafe injection practices in Las Vegas, which left a lasting impact on future IC practices in Nevada, another Vegas facility is feeling the brunt new IC regulation.

On July 7 the  Las Vegas abortion clinic Clinica de Mujeres, owned by Dr. Vicki Mazzorana, was ordered to cease operations for allegedly performing surgeries without a license, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported [1].

Public health investigators acted on a tip from someone who was not a former patient, investigating the facility for allegedly performing surgeries without a license and for “a gross breakdown in infection control practices.”

The following day, Paul Shubert, a Las Vegas-based surveyor with the Nevada State Health Division’s Bureau of Health Care Quality and Compliance, cleared the facility of any illegal practice violations, confirming the clinic appears to have the right to perform abortions as long as safe practices are followed.

However, the facility remains closed due to infection control issues including breaches in providing sterile packaging and not having a policy for use of a machine that sterilizes equipment, Shubert says.

“We are much more aggressive now on complaints since the hepatitis C situation,” Shubert told the Review-Journal, referring to last year’s outbreak.

Shubert says once these infection control issues are cleared up, the clinic may open its doors again.

This brings up a timely issue on sterilization procedures. The Joint Commission recently released their position on steam sterilization [2], indicating surveyors would pay closer attention to the entire sterilization process in accredited facilities . For additional guidance on sterilization, refer to the CDC/HICPAC guidelines [3].

You can also refer to our “Sterilization FAQ [4]” post, plus the feature article in the September issue of Briefings on Infection Control [5], discusses how to pass a sterilization survey.