Archive for: February, 2010

Medical Environment Update—Evaluating decontamination procedures prior to sterilization

By: February 26th, 2010 Email This Post Print This Post

The feature topic in the March issue of Medical Environment Update examines why precleaning is the first and perhaps most important step to ensuring proper instrument sterility. Specifically, the article focuses on

  • Decontaminating equipment
  • Surveyors will look for precleaning
  • Observing and training employees
  • Separating dirty from clean
  • Steps to ensure adequate precleaning
  • Handling glutaraldehyde

Here is an excerpt from that article and a look at what else is covered in the March issue.

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Handling glutaraldehyde

By: February 26th, 2010 Email This Post Print This Post

From Medical Environment Update, March 2010:

Although autoclaving is the preferred method of sterilization, glutaraldehyde is a high-level disinfectant that is commonly used to sterilize instruments that cannot withstand the heat of a steam sterilizer. Avoid using glutaraldehyde on an instrument before autoclaving it.

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Expect one flu shot next year, not two

By: February 25th, 2010 Email This Post Print This Post

If it was difficult for you to convince staff members to get two shots this flu season, next year might be a little less challenging, at least in terms of the quantity of shots.

The FDA voted unanimously on Monday to fold the pandemic H1N1 influenza vaccine into the seasonal flu vaccine for next year, which was recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO).

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Are specimen containers reusable?

By: February 25th, 2010 Email This Post Print This Post

Q: What is a proper method and/or material for decontaminating reusable containers? (Ex. Formalin or specimen containers)?

A: I would need more specific  information, but I’ve never heard of anyone reusing specimen containers. Those with blood would have to go out as red bag waste. Those with specimens in formalin are usually kept indefinitely and are not made of plastic that I would consider reusable.

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Healthcare workers quick to decline TB treatment

By: February 24th, 2010 Email This Post Print This Post

According to a new study published the February issue of Chest, healthcare workers are nearly five times as likely to decline drug therapy treatment for latent TB, compared to patients in the study.

Researchers followed patients with latent TB in 32 healthcare clinics and found that 22 of 53 healthcare workers declined treatment when offered.

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IC considerations for toys in the waiting room

By: February 24th, 2010 Email This Post Print This Post

It’s common for medical facilities to keep books and toys in the waiting room to entertain children who come in, but along with those books and toys come infection prevention considerations. Toys are problematic, mainly because children can’t resist the urge to stuff them in their mouth.

There are a variety of ways to deal with this issue, all of which revolve around building a policy and communicating that policy to staff members and patients.

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Ask the expert: OSHA and mandatory flu shots

By: February 23rd, 2010 Email This Post Print This Post

Q: Does OSHA require that employees accept a flu shot for H1N1?

A: OSHA does not require employees to accept flu shot vaccination, but it “encourages healthcare employers to offer both the seasonal and H1N1 vaccines,” according to “OSHA’s position on mandatory flu shots for employees,” a November 9, 2009, interpretation letter.

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NIOSH adds N95 respirator poster to Web site

By: February 23rd, 2010 Email This Post Print This Post

NIOSH has added a poster to its Web site that should prove useful to healthcare facilities using N95 respirators for protection against H1N1 influenza.

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Weekly poll: Are you a hand hygiene techie?

By: February 22nd, 2010 Email This Post Print This Post

Last week’s post on new plasma technology that could change the way healthcare workers clean their hands was met with exuberance by some commentators and skepticism by others.

What are your initial feelings when you read about new hand hygiene surveillance technology, or other IT related ventures?

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Clinic waste contaminates garbage man

By: February 19th, 2010 Email This Post Print This Post

If you’ve ever gagged at having to swallow your pride at work, be thankful that medical waste was not also on the menu.

A story from “down under” graphically illustrates for healthcare facilities the importance of proper disposal of regulated medical and pharmaceutical waste.

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Regulatory flu bug bites hospital

By: February 19th, 2010 Email This Post Print This Post

A Spokane hospital was cited for not protecting its workers from H1N1 influenza by the Washington State version of OSHA. The state’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH) issued $8,000 in fines to Sacred Heart Medical Center, according to a February 18 news release from the Washington State Nurses Association.

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Study shows John Hopkins’ vaccination rates twice the national average

By: February 18th, 2010 Email This Post Print This Post

A new study published in the February issue of Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology shows that John Hopkins achieved a 2008-2009 seasonal flu vaccination rate of 71.3%, nearly double the national average.

Taking an opposite stance to required flu shots, John Hopkins offered flu vaccines to staff members that were, “free, convenient, ubiquitous and hard to ignore,” according to a press release. However, the hospital did institute a policy that required staff members to wear face masks if they did not get vaccinated. Researchers also noted the wider availability of free community-based vaccination opportunities.

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