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NewSplash Archive – August 2019

Issue 35 – 8/27

Why are some OB/GYN instruments black in color?
A: The black coating, called ebonization, is antireflective and used in laser procedures. It is designed to absorb the laser, rather than reflect, and prevents patient injury. If the coating is chipped, send the instrument out for repair. (p. 223)

Q: What is a bayonet forcep used for? (See next issue.)

Point of Use Care and Transportation of Surgical Instruments by Rose Seavey, MBA, BS, RN, CNOR, CRCST, CSPDT
Care and handling of surgical instruments is a shared responsibility between the operating room (OR) and sterile processing (SP) personnel. Research has proven that preparation for decontamination must begin at the point of use (POU); however, many facilities are not following the guidelines. Surveyors from accreditation organizations such as The Joint Commission are citing facilities for not following POU care and handling of surgical instruments, which can put patients at risk. In addition, facilities have been fined by OSHA for Blood Borne Pathogen Standard violation relating to skipping POU care and handling that puts employees at risk.

FDA approves new antibiotic to treat community-acquired bacterial pneumonia
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Xenleta (lefamulin) to treat adults with community-acquired bacterial pneumonia. Community-acquired pneumonia occurs when someone develops pneumonia in the community, not in a hospital.

Will disposable colonoscopy devices replace reusables?
As a disposable version of the instrument used in one of the most common medical procedures in the United States inches closer to widespread availability, a team of Johns Hopkins data researchers is studying the economic and safety implications associated with the devices used to perform colonoscopies.

Cannabis-derived flavonoid shows potential in treating pancreatic cancer
Pancreatic cancer is particularly aggressive and deadly, with a 5-year survival rate of only 8%. Early detection is key to survival, but the cancer often metastasizes to other organs before the patient is diagnosed.

Can private hospital rooms lower HAI risk?
When McGill University’s Royal Victoria Hospital in Montreal moved into a brand-new facility where all patients had private rooms, the rates of some healthcare-associated infections dropped. There was a sustained reduction in rates of nosocomial vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE) infection in the 36 months following the hospital move compared to the 27 months prior to the move.

OR Today hosts oneSOURCE Document Site Database Demonstration webinar
On Thursday, September 12, at 2:00 ET, OR Today will host a webinar demonstrating the oneSOURCE Document Site Surgical Instrument, Equipment, and Tissue/Implants Database. The 60-minute webinar is presented by Lindsay Frkovich-Nelson, vice president of sales and marketing at oneSOURCE Document Management Services.

New Beyond Clean episode now available
This week’s guest on Beyond Clean is Peter Nichol, pediatric surgeon at the University of Wisconsin Health and now the chief medical officer at Beyond Clean. On this throwback episode from Season 1, the group discusses Peter’s passion for instrument processing, tray optimization, and waste reduction in the SPD. Tune in and take the exam for CE credit.


Issue 34 – 8/20

What is a bone-ejecting Kerrison?
A: A bone-ejecting Kerrison has a pin in the jaw that pushes out/ejects bone to prevent clogging on the cutting edge. (p. 210)

Q: Why are some OB/GYN instruments black in color? (See next issue.)

Spotlight on Special Treatment in Sterile Processing: What It Is and What It’s Not by Hank Balch
Our culture is obsessed with the word “fair.” It’s in our politics, our break rooms, our message boards, and our playgrounds. Something deep inside us yearns for fairness and many of us have developed what we believe to be a hypersensitive radar for all things not fair. However, we must honestly confront the fact that some people on our teams, in our departments, or out in the world use the idea of fairness as a weapon, not to ensure equal treatment, but to make sure they get their way when and how they want it, without exception. For them life itself is not fair, and this includes anything that happens to them in the workplace, regardless of whether it stems from equal treatment or not.

New wearable head device reverses memory loss due to Alzheimer’s disease
A new medical device shows promise in halting and even reversing cognitive decline in patients with Alzheimer’s disease. The early stage study assessed the safety and efficacy of transcranial electromagnetic treatment (TEMT) with the MemorEM head device from NeuroEM Therapeutics.

FDA approves new TB drug to cure hard-to-treat patients
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a new tuberculosis medicine that improves treatment for the most difficult to treat cases. The nonprofit group TB Alliance developed pretomanid with help from charities and government agencies.

Diarrhea-causing bacteria adapted to spread in hospitals
Scientists have discovered that the gut-infecting bacterium Clostridium difficile is evolving into two separate species, with one group highly adapted to spread in hospitals. Researchers at the Wellcome Sanger Institute, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and collaborators identified genetic changes in the newly emerging species that allow it to thrive on the Western sugar-rich diet, evade common hospital disinfectants and spread easily.

NvisionVLE System cleared by FDA to analyze pancreas and bile duct
NinePoint Medical has received clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its NvisionVLE Imaging System for use in the pancreas and bile duct. The system provides physicians with real-time, high-resolution volumetric images of the tissue surface and subsurface, allowing gastroenterologists to evaluate tissue that may not be visible with other medical imaging technologies.

Ebola is “no longer incurable” as experimental drugs increase survival rates
Scientists are closer to curing Ebola hemorrhagic fever after treatments using two experimental drugs showed survival rates as high as 90% in a clinical trial in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The drugs will now be offered to all patients infected with the disease in the DRC

New Beyond Clean episode now available
On this episode of Beyond Clean, the hosts sat down with Nick Williams, an independent business consultant in the United Kingdom, and formerly group managing director of Olympus KeyMed, to discuss the good, the bad, and the ugly when it comes to supporting customers in the medical device industry around the globe. Tune in to hear his insights into the challenges facing sales reps, what to expect from one before and after the sell, and how to deal with someone who is not meeting expectations. Be sure to take the exam for CE credit.


Issue 33 – 8/13

How many times can an osteotome be sharpened?
A: Many times. As osteotomes get sharpened over time, they become shorter and thicker. A thick osteotome is a patient safety risk. A qualified and trained repair technician should measure the length and recommend replacement, if needed. (p. 169)

Q: What is a bone-ejecting Kerrison? (See next issue.)

Parametric Release: What’s Involved and How Can It Be Applied to a Healthcare Setting by Jonathan A. Wilder, Ph.D., Managing Director
At the spring 2019 IAHCSMM Annual Conference & Expo in Anaheim, CA, Beyond Clean hosted a discussion of sterilization process monitoring with chemical indicators, biological indicators, and by parametric release. The first two items are quite familiar to U.S. SPD personnel, being part of everyday life and whose use is defined in AAMI ST79:2017. On the other hand, parametric release is not typically done in U.S. SPDs and, because it doesn’t use integrators or biological indicators, it may seem like an act of faith where no faith is warranted. But its principles can provide a better understanding of the function of your sterilizers (and washers) and help you set up programs to maintain their optimal function. This article is being provided to help you understand what parametric release is, what is needed to do it, and which of its principles can be applied to improve your daily processing.

High-energy lasers could one day treat Alzheimer’s disease
Amyloid fibrils are self-assembled proteins or peptides that take on a stacked sheet-like formation. Amyloid fibril aggregates are known to be a cause of several diseases, including Alzheimer’s, so it’s imperative to understand how these aggregates can be broken.

CMS approves first sepsis in-vitro diagnostic test for NTAPs
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has granted T2 Biosystems, Inc., approval for a New Technology Add-on Payment (NTAP) for the T2Bacteria Panel for FY 2020. The T2Bacteria Panel is the first and only FDA-cleared test to identify sepsis-causing bacterial pathogens directly from whole blood in three to five hours without the need to wait for blood culture.

New drug delivery system inspired by snake fangs
Snake fangs are the inspiration for a new liquid drug delivery system. The researchers created a microneedle transdermal patch about the size of the tip of a thumb that contains 100 microneedles that deliver liquid medicine with mild pressure.

New gel material makes it easier to remove colon polyps
When doctors remove polyps during a colonoscopy, they often inject a saline solution below the lesion to form a sort of cushion that lifts the polyp so it’s easier to safely remove. The problem is that the cushion doesn’t last long.

OR Today Live registration is open
Register now for OR Today Live, August 18–20, in Las Vegas. The conference features industry-leading speakers covering the latest in clinical, management, and CS/SPD; the opportunity to earn up to 16 CEs; exhibit hall with the latest technology, products, and services; and more.

New Beyond Clean episode now available
This week, Beyond Clean goes international with a discussion with Xana Jardine, the president of the CSSD forums of South Africa. Xana discusses the challenges SPDs face in South Africa, how they implement solutions, and regional issues facing SPD technicians and department leaders. Tune in and take the exam for CE credit.


Issue 32 – 8/6

How do cardiac instruments become magnetized?
A: The most common way the instruments become magnetized is by laying them on a magnetic needle counter/pad or near an electric motor such as a slush machine. (p. 160)

Q: How many times can an osteotome be sharpened? (See next issue.)

The Joint Commissions 4-1-1 Survey Enhancements on High-Level Disinfection & Sterilization by Rose Seavey, MBA, BS, RN, CNOR, CRCST, CSPDT
In September 2018, The Joint Commission (TJC) publicized an improvement to their surveys, calling it 4-1-1 on Survey Enhancements. These enhancements will be part of their on-site surveys for hospitals, critical access hospitals, ambulatory care, and office-based surgery facilities.

The Joint Commission surveyors will now take a deeper look at four high-risk areas that pose the greatest risks to patients if there is a failure. The four areas they are instructed to take a deeper dive into are:

  • High-level disinfection (HLD) and sterilization
  • Sterile medication compounding
  • Suicide prevention
  • Hemodialysis

Could Alzheimer’s disease come from infection?
New research suggests that infectious agents, such as bacteria and viruses, may trigger immune reactions related to plaques and tangles in the brain, leading to the loss of cognitive function in Alzheimer’s disease. The disease may stem from several different disease processes in the brain, not just one.

First CRISPR study inside the body to begin in the U.S.
The first study to test the CRISPR gene-editing tool inside the human body is about the begin. The patients in the study have an inherited form of blindness where they have normal eyes but lack a gene that converts light into signals to the brain that enable sight.

Microrobots activated by laser pulses show promise for treating tumors
When something ails us inside the body, doctors often resort to surgery or chemotherapy to help make us better. A pair of researchers from Caltech’s Division of Engineering and Applied Science are working on a new form of treatment where microrobots deliver drugs to specific areas inside the body while being monitored and controlled from outside the body.

Smartphone app detects kidney condition in minutes
A smartphone app has accelerated the detection of a potentially fatal kidney condition in hospital patients, providing a diagnosis in minutes instead of hours. Acute kidney injury is caused by serious conditions, such as sepsis.

OR Today Live registration is open

Register now for OR Today Live, August 18–20, in Las Vegas. The conference features industry-leading speakers covering the latest in clinical, management, and CS/SPD; the opportunity to earn up to 16 CEs; exhibit hall with the latest technology, products, and services; and more.

New Beyond Clean episode now available
This week, Beyond Clean welcomes Dr. David Perrett, professor emeritus of bioanalytical science at Barts & The London School of Medicine and one of the world’s foremost experts on the topic of prions and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. They discuss why prions have become so pervasive and what you should do about it in your hospital. Tune in and take the exam for CE credit.