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NewSplash Archive – August 2017

Issue 34 – 8/30
Game of Reprocessing: The Unveiling
It is hereby decreed that winter is coming and war is raging. There is an outright war on bioburden, war on infection, and you are our greatest defense.

Scientists target highly specific brain regions with magnetic fields, control movement
Scientists at the University of Buffalo have used magnetic nanoparticles to activate tiny groups of cells in the brain, inducing bodily movements such as running, rotating, and losing control of extremities. The technique is called magneto-thermal stimulation and it provides neuroscientists with a minimally invasive way to trigger activity deep inside the brain, turning certain cells on and off to study how the changes affect physiology.

Hurricane Harvey: How to help
Hurricane Harvey has left a swath of devastation in its path, affecting hundreds of thousands of people and causing billions of dollars in damage. Like us, many people are asking what they can do to help and where their donations will go farthest.

Micromotors enable drug delivery to treat bacterial infection in the stomach
Nanoengineers at the University of California San Diego have developed micromotors for delivering drugs to treat a bacterial infection in the stomach. The micromotors are about half the width of a human hair and rapidly make their way through the stomach while neutralizing gastric acid, negating the use of proton pump inhibitors.

Elsevier offering free article, subscription discount
Elsevier’s Clinical Solutions team has made a free article available from their Clinics Review Articles series entitled “Thoracic Imaging Features of Legionnaire’s Disease.” They are also offering a 20% discount on a subscription to Clinics Review Articles.

IAHCSMM conducting job analysis survey
As part of a research initiative, IAHCSMM is conducting a comprehensive job analysis of the central service field. Central service professionals are invited to participate in an online survey that will validate the tasks professionals perform and the knowledge needed to competently perform those tasks.


Issue 33 – 8/23
Researchers improve method for 3D printing living tissues
In recent years, interest in 3D printing living tissues has grown, but it has been difficult to control the position of cells in 3D. They frequently move within the printed structures and the support for the cells can collapse on itself.

Researchers monitor hospital staff hygiene using AI
Hospital-acquired infections (HAIs) are a huge problem and one of the main causes is a lack of proper hand hygiene. Informational posters and hand sanitizer gel dispensers are not working.

Silver nanoparticles and a tiny electrical current kill bacteria
Hospitals are full of plastic surfaces, tubes, and devices, all of which can harbor bacteria that are capable of surviving for long periods of time on plastic surfaces. Bacteria can spread to patients and cause infections.

Data mined insurance records shed light on disease connections
Researchers at the University of Chicago studied insurance claims from more than 480,000 people from nearly 130,000 families, resulting in the creation of a new classification of common diseases based on how they occur among genetically related individuals. 

IAHCSMM conducting job analysis survey
As part of a research initiative, IAHCSMM is conducting a comprehensive job analysis of the central service field. Central service professionals are invited to participate in an online survey that will validate the tasks professionals perform and the knowledge needed to competently perform those tasks.


Issue 32 – 8/15
Ultrasound used to trigger targeted pain relief
As our nation is in the throes of an opioid epidemic, researchers at Boston Children’s Hospital are developing a method to treat pain at the site without the use of opioids. Their system consists of injecting nerve-blocking agents in specific parts of the body then using ultrasound to trigger the release of the agents where and when relief is needed.

Origami organs may help regenerate tissue
Researchers at Northwestern Medicine have invented a range of bioactive tissue papers made from materials derived from organs. The papers are thin and flexible enough that they can be folded into origami art.

CDC invests more than $200 million to help states respond to infectious disease threats
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has awarded more than $200 million to help states, cities, counties, and territories prevent, detect, respond to, and control the growing threats posed by emerging and reemerging infectious diseases. State programs are the foundation of the U.S. public health system and are integral to the nation’s efforts to combat infectious disease threats.

Magnetic fields turn up the heat on bacterial biofilms
Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have shown that high-frequency alternating magnetic fields can be used to destroy bacteria encased in a slimy biofilm growing on a metal surface. Biofilm is a collection of microorganisms that stick to each other and to various surfaces.

How to improve your hospital rating
In July 2016, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released the first ratings for the new Medicare Overall Hospital Star Ratings Program, developed to help consumers make more informed healthcare decisions by giving them a means to compare hospitals based on quality ratings. Following the initial release, many hospitals wanted to better understand how the ratings system worked and learn how to improve their scores.

The Joint Commission releases new BoosterPak
The Joint Commission released its High-Level Disinfection (HLD) and Sterilization BoosterPak, which aims “To ensure work practices are carried out following regular standards and evidence-based guidelines for HLD and sterilization in order to minimize the potential risk of infection transmission to patients.” To view this publication, visit Air Force Medical Service.


Issue 31 – 8/9
Flexible biopsy catheter for sampling lung tissue coming to da Vinci surgical robots
Intuitive Surgical, the manufacturer of the da Vinci robotic surgical systems, is working with the Chinese firm Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical Group to release a flexible biopsy catheter that is designed to take tissue samples from deep within the lungs. With this partnership, we can expect more products to be developed.

Human DNA edited to eliminate disease
U.S. and South Korean scientists have, for the first time, removed faulty DNA that causes heart disease from human embryos. The scientists allowed the embryos to develop for five days before halting the experiment.

Smaller, softer robotic arm developed for endoscopic surgery
Flexible endoscopes allow surgeons to treat difficult-to-reach areas of the body; however, once they arrive at the target, the devices rely on rigid tools to manipulate or remove tissue. Researchers at Harvard University have developed a hybrid rigid-soft arm for endoscopes with integrated sensing and flexibility.

Study suggests type 2 diabetes may be transmissible
The preliminary findings of a new study suggest that type 2 diabetes may be transmissible in a way that is similar to prion disorders such as mad cow disease or its human equivalent, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. Type 2 diabetes affects more than 420 million people worldwide, but its causes remain unknown.

Update to ST79 completed
After seven years, the update to AAMI’s standard ST79, Comprehensive guide to steam sterilization and sterility assurance in health care facilities, is complete. Some of the biggest changes include setting the temperature and humidity parameters; selecting sterilization cycles; improving guidance usability; and adding new material to the annex that more fully describes the types of equipment that may be used in the SPD, as well as guidance on the use of ultrasonic cleaners.


Issue 30 – 8/1
Nontoxic underwater adhesive could bring new surgical glue
Researchers at Purdue University have developed a nontoxic, biocompatible, underwater adhesive that outperforms commercially available products. The adhesive is modeled after proteins produced by mussels and other creatures and has the potential to replace sutures and staples.

Implanted engineered liver tissue produce functional livers
Researchers at MIT, Rockefeller University, and Boston University have developed a new way to engineer liver tissue by organizing cells embedded into a biodegradable tissue scaffold. When implanted into the abdomen, the tiny structures expand up to 50 times their original size and are able to perform normal liver tissue functions.

Antibiotic guidelines reduce late-onset sepsis in NICU, study finds
Clinicians at Yale University School of Medicine’s neonatal intensive care unit in New Haven, CT, significantly lowered rates of late-onset sepsis by enacting an antibiotic stewardship program, according to a study published in Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology.

Individual neurons in brain activated with light
Scientists from the Max Planch Institute of Neurobiology are now able to reveal pairs or chains of functionally connected neurons under the microscope using light alone. This allows them to probe the pathways along which information flows by targeting activation of individual neurons and monitoring the responses of neighboring cells.

2017 Sterile Processing State of the Industry Report available now
Infection Control Today has released the 2017 Sterile Processing State of the Industry Report. The report is based on data provided through an online survey of ICT readers who work in sterile processing departments (SPDs) and central sterile supply departments (CSSDs), and offers a snapshot of some key issues and challenges relating to budgets, resourcing, workloads, and personal issues.