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NewSplash Archive – December 2021

Issue 50 – December 28, 2021

LinkedIn for the Sterile Processing Professional, Part One by Rebecca Kinney
Leveling up your professional career in sterile processing (SP) can feel limited at times. Some factors are outside of your control. Your facility may only have limited positions available for advancements. It’s possible that the supervisors in place have been in the role for longer than you’ve been alive, and you feel stuck in your current state. That said, there are some things you can do today to start elevating your value making yourself more marketable for the future role you aspire toward. Let’s focus on your online presence and visibility to recruiters, and other facilities that may be looking for positions to be filled. Building your personal brand can only serve your future if done right. The online tool we are focusing on is LinkedIn. 

CDC updates and shortens recommended isolation and quarantine period for general population
Given what we currently know about COVID-19 and the Omicron variant, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is shortening the recommended time for isolation from ten days for people with COVID-19 to five days, if asymptomatic, followed by five days of wearing a mask when around others. The change is motivated by science demonstrating that the majority of SARS-CoV-2 transmission occurs early in the course of illness, generally in the one to two days prior to onset of symptoms and the two to three days after.

FDA authorizes additional oral antiviral for treatment of COVID-19 in certain adults
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an emergency use authorization (EUA) for Merck’s molnupiravir for the treatment of mild-to-moderate coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in adults with positive results of direct SARS-CoV-2 viral testing, and who are at high risk for progression to severe COVID-19, including hospitalization or death, and for whom alternative COVID-19 treatment options authorized by the FDA are not accessible or clinically appropriate. Molnupiravir is available by prescription only and should be initiated as soon as possible after diagnosis of COVID-19 and within five days of symptom onset.

Beyond Clean rewind
This week’s episode from Season 8 features an interview with longtime perioperative consultant Paul Wafer. Paul discusses the importance of efficiency and communication within a surgical service team.


Issue 49 – December 21, 2021

Brain Dump: Free Your Head by Sarah B. Cruz
Honest assessment time. It took me several tries to figure out how to begin writing this article. I started three different times and didn’t end up using any of the material. I felt myself trying to articulate a topic but couldn’t quite get the words out. I literally didn’t know how to start writing.

Needless to say, the ability to articulate a topic can be daunting and frustrating to new and experienced sterile processing writers alike. For many, it is where the writing process stops completely. However, our industry may have benefited greatly from this point of view, had it only been published.

New copper surface eliminates bacteria in just two minutes
A new copper surface that kills bacteria more than 100 times faster and more effectively than standard copper could help combat the growing threat of antibiotic-resistant superbugs. The new copper product is the result of a collaborative research project with RMIT University and Australia’s national science agency, CSIRO, with findings just published in Biomaterials.

New research moves closer to harnessing viruses to fight bacteria and reduce antibiotic use
New research has moved a step closer to harnessing viruses to fight bacterial infection, reducing the threat of antibiotic resistance.

Beyond Clean rewind
Sterile processing professionals need advocates for support and to help make the case for improvements throughout surgical services, especially sterile processing. On this episode from Season 8, Melissa Morgan talks about the importance of infection prevention understanding the detailed work and the level of importance in sterile processing.


Issue 48 – December 14, 2021

5 Reasons Why the Great Resignation Could Be Great for Your Sterile Processing Career by Hank Balch
Have you seen the signs around your town that say, “Please be patient. The whole world is short staffed,” or something similar? Have you noticed the rising vacancy rates in your sterile processing department? These are all symptoms of what is now being called the Great Resignation, also known as the Big Quit, which Wikipedia describes as “an economic trend in which employees voluntarily resign from their jobs en masse, beginning in early 2021, primarily in the United States. It has been said the trend is in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the American government refusing to provide necessary worker protections, and wage stagnation despite a rising cost of living.”

CDC launches two global networks, awards $22 million to combat antimicrobial resistance and infectious diseases
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has awarded $22 million to nearly 30 organizations around the world to combat antimicrobial resistance and other healthcare threats through the establishment of two new networks—the Global Action in Healthcare Network (GAIHN) and the Global AR Laboratory and Response Network (Global AR Lab & Response Network).

Pfizer’s oral COVID-19 antiviral candidate reduces hospitalization or death by nearly 90%
Pfizer announced final results from an analysis of all 2,246 adults enrolled in its Phase 2/3 trial of its novel COVID-19 oral antiviral candidate PAXLOVID. These results were consistent with the interim analysis announced in November 2021, showing PAXLOVID significantly reduced the risk of hospitalization or death for any cause by 89% compared to placebo in nonhospitalized, high-risk adult patients with COVID-19 treated within three days of symptom onset.

Charting changes in a pathogen’s genome yields clues about its past and hints about its future
More than 250 million people worldwide have tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, usually after a diagnostic nose swab. Those swabs aren’t trash once they’ve delivered their positive result, though.

Experimental mRNA HIV vaccine safe, shows promise in animals
An experimental HIV vaccine based on mRNA—the same platform technology used in two highly effective COVID-19 vaccines—shows promise in mice and nonhuman primates, according to scientists at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health. Their results, published in Nature Medicine, show that the novel vaccine was safe and prompted desired antibody and cellular immune responses against an HIV-like virus.

Moderna’s mRNA flu vaccine candidate produces positive trial results
Moderna has announced the first positive interim data from the Phase 1 study of its quadrivalent seasonal flu vaccine candidate, mRNA-1010. In the study, mRNA-1010 successfully boosted hemagglutination inhibition (HAI) assay geometric mean titers against all strains 29 days after vaccination at all doses tested in both younger and older adults.

Beyond Clean rewind
On this episode from Season 8, Beyond Clean spoke with Dr. Patrick O’Malley, who has focused much of his time on researching reusable vs. disposable instruments and the frequent pain points that come with specific instruments common to the emergency department. Dr. O’Malley focuses on laceration repairs, which can be compared to plastic surgery in the ER, and he talks about the impact of instrument quality on the perception of effectiveness from a clinician’s perspective.


Issue 47 – December 7, 2021

Give Me a Break: What It Takes to Make the Most of Sterile Processing Breaks by Hank Balch
The break room at my first sterile processing job was in the morgue. Okay, it was no longer the morgue when we were using it, but that didn’t matter at 1 a.m. on a Sunday when all you could think of was all the bodies that had been laid right where my lunchbox was now open for a quick snack. Fun times.

How can scientists update COVID-19 vaccines for Omicron: microbiologist answers 5 questions
The emergence of the Omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus has sparked many questions, and researchers are busy trying to find answers. While the extremely infectious Delta variant is still the main variant in the U.S., Omicron has been classified as a Variant of Concern by the World Health Organization.

Researchers develop a world-first antibody drug delivery system
It sounds like the stuff of science fiction: a man-made crystal that can be attached to antibodies and then supercharge them with potent drugs or imaging agents that can seek out diseased cells with the highest precision, resulting in fewer adverse effects for the patient.

How SARS-CoV-2 evades our immune system
Scientists at Hokkaido University and Texas A&M University have identified a key mechanism used by the SARS-CoV-2 virus to evade host immune systems.

New research identifies sildenafil as candidate drug for Alzheimer’s disease
A new Cleveland Clinic-led study has identified sildenafil—an FDA-approved therapy for erectile dysfunction (Viagra) and pulmonary hypertension (Ravatio)—as a promising drug candidate to help prevent and treat Alzheimer’s disease.

Beyond Clean rewind
As we age, we lose our visual acuity, and this can have serious implications for the instrument inspection process. In this episode from Season 8, Cory Hanosh, president and founder of NorthState Vision Technology, discusses the critical need for technology that sets up our inspection process for success; the risk of missing early warning signs of instrument defects; and he gives his own recommendation on how SPD leaders can approach their administrators to gain access to purchasing dollars for enhanced visual inspection tools.