Surgical Suite and Sterile Processing

Although not part of Standard Precautions, it seems appropriate to discuss sharps handling after discussing safe injection practices in an earlier blog. While safe injection practices focus on protecting patients from poor healthcare personnel practices, this blog focuses on protecting the healthcare worker. Some Basic Information...

When we think of environmental monitoring, temperature, humidity, and air exchanges in the operating room (OR) and sterile processing department (SPD) usually come to mind. However, there are numerous other areas in both acute and ambulatory care settings that must be monitored. Environmental Monitoring Basics Accrediting and...

The surgical attire guideline was extensively revised by the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN) and has received much attention since publication in 2015.  The most controversial point was the requirement to cover all hair on the head and ears, which was based on a...

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 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...

Although the CDC Guidelines for Isolation Precautions were published in 2007, many questions remain in clinician’s minds when trying to determine if a patient should be placed into precautions.  To add to the confusion, not all hospitals or ambulatory surgery centers place a patient...

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