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Many pre-filled plastic syringes are intended for use on more than one patient and contain a variety of dental materials such as composite, etching kits, etc.  Although the syringe is considered multi-patient use, the tips are disposable and are meant for use on one patient....

Dental Unit waterlines, which are narrow tubes that connect water to dental instruments (e.g. air/water syringe, dental handpiece, ultrasonic scaler), have long been a topic of discussion and concern.  The formation of biofilm is not uncommon in dental unit waterlines due to the presence of...

Although the Association of periOperative Nurses (AORN) has published surgical attire guidelines for many years, questions remain about what constitutes appropriate surgical attire in various settings.  The goal of the surgical attire guideline is to reduce microbial contamination throughout the continuum of care in the...

The first part of this series discussed general survey preparation and specific elements of the infection control program likely to be surveyed in Ambulatory Surgery Centers (ASCs) and hospitals. This post will examine what surveyors will most likely observe when looking at practice.  Since surveyors...

Review your facility’s most recent CMS and accreditation surveys. CMS surveyors (typically your state health department)  will gather information about your facility prior to their arrival, including prior surveys. The surveyors may opt to focus on problematic areas from the most recent CMS and/or accreditation...

The second part of this series focuses on safe injection practices with some pictures from the field of poor practices. Medication preparation Wash hands prior to preparing any medication, every time.   Medications should be prepared in an area that is free from contamination on a...

Although safe injection practices have been part of Standard Precautions in the 2007 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Isolation guidelines (https://www.cdc.gov/hicpac/pdf/isolation/Isolation2007.pdf), 19 confirmed outbreaks associated with misuse of single dose vials have occurred since 2007. The outbreaks involved outpatient settings, with many related...

The Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI) published an updated version of the Comprehensive Guide to Steam Sterilization and Sterility Assurance in Health Care Facilities guideline (ST79:2017) in late 2017. One area that is significantly different in the updated guideline is related to...

Outbreaks related to flexible endoscopes have been in the news repeatedly over the last several decades. Most outbreak investigations concluded that inadequate cleaning, improper high-level disinfection procedures, or problems associated with an automated endoscope reprocessor were responsible for the outbreak. However, the more recent outbreaks...

FDA, along with CDC, representatives from the American Society for Microbiology (ASM), duodenoscope manufacturers and other experts, has developed voluntary standardized protocols for duodenoscope surveillance sampling and culturing, which updates the CDC interim guidance published in March 2015.  Highlights from the 2018 protocol: Focus: detect...