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NewSplash Archive – February 2022

Issue 8 – 2/22

Mending a broken chain: let’s work together
We all face difficulties and obstacles in our careers. That is to be expected. But sometimes there are circumstances or issues beyond our control that can make doing our jobs exponentially more difficult, or worse, more dangerous.

For nearly two years, the world has seen interruptions in the supply chain. Yes, we’re all tired of hearing about the supply chain, but ignoring the problem or avoiding topic will not make the problem go away. We need to adapt our thinking, get creative, work together, and make informed decisions regarding our purchases and supply levels to ensure we have what we need to make doing our jobs easier and safer.

To help sterile processing departments overcome supply chain issues, our sales reps have been busy speaking to their contacts in healthcare facilities, inquiring about products that they are having difficulty sourcing. We listened, and as a result of this dialog, Ultra Clean Systems launched its UCS line of consumable products.

The UCS line consists of a full set of PPE gear (gloves, hair caps, shoe covers, face shields, eyewear), sterile wraps, floor mats, brushes, and more. Our continued conversations with frontline sterile processing professionals means that we will continually add new products as we learn of more deficiencies due to disruptions.

If you would like to share with us products that are difficult to source, please visit UltraCleanSystems.com and click Contact Us. For more information on the UCS line of products, please call 877-935-6624. Let’s work together to ease supply chain issues and make your job easier and safer. As always, thank you for all you do to keep patients safe.

APIC calls for increased investment in infection prevention
Linda Dickey, RN, MPH, CIC, FAPIC, president of APIC, issued a statement in response to the New England Journal of Medicine Perspective: “Health Care Safety during the Pandemic and Beyond—Building a System that Endures Resilience.” In the statement, APIC called for an increase in investment in infection prevention.

Patient possibly cured of HIV infection by special stem cell transplant
A patient living with HIV who received a blood stem cell transplant for high-risk acute myeloid leukemia has been free of the virus for 14 months after stopping HIV antiretroviral drug treatment, suggesting a cure, according to the Weill Cornell Medicine physician-scientists who performed the transplant and managed her care. As in two other successful cases that have been reported, the transplanted donor cells bore a mutation that makes them resistant to HIV infection.

Creating universal blood-type organs for transplant
A study published in Science Translational Medicine performed at the Latner Thoracic Surgery Research Laboratories and UHN’s Ajmera Transplant Centre has proved that it is possible to convert blood type safely in donor organs intended for transplantation. This finding is an important step toward creating universal type O organs, which would significantly improve fairness in organ allocation and decrease mortality for patients in the waitlist.

2022 HSPA Conference & Expo registration open
Registration for the Healthcare Sterile Processing Association (HSPA, formerly IAHCSMM) 2022 Annual Conference in San Antonio, Texas, is now open. The in-person conference will be held April 23–27, 2022.

Beyond Clean Season 15
Sterile processing departments are full of detergents, pretreatments, disinfectants, lubricants, descalers, fixatives, sterilants, and other chemicals. Some are flammable, others corrosive, and others still are dangerous to our health. How do we begin to educate technicians about all of these chemicals and variables?


Issue 7 – 2/15

Newly developed inhaled COVID-19 vaccine provides broad protection
McMaster University scientists have developed an inhaled form of COVID-19 vaccine that provides broad and long-lasting protection against the original SARS-CoV-2 virus and variants of concern.

Clearance of protein linked to Alzheimer’s controlled by circadian cycle
Research conducted at the Rensselaer Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies has found that the brain’s ability to shed the Amyloid-Beta 42 (AB42) protein, which is linked to Alzheimer’s disease, is tied to our circadian cycle. The results of the study highlight the importance of healthy sleep habits in preventing AB42 from forming clumps in the brain.

FDA authorizes antibody treatment for mild-to-moderate COVID-19
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued an emergency use authorization (EUA) for Eli Lilly and Company’s bebtelovimab, an antibody that demonstrates neutralization against the Omicron variant.

ECT for depression: finding hope
UCHealth recently published an article about a young woman, Hannah, who has struggled with anxiety since her early teenage years, and later depression, ADHD, and PTSD. She sought the help of multiple psychiatrists and tried numerous medications, but the medications either didn’t help or stopped working.

2022 HSPA Conference & Expo registration open
Registration for the Healthcare Sterile Processing Association (HSPA, formerly IAHCSMM) 2022 Annual Conference in San Antonio, Texas, is now open. The in-person conference will be held April 23–27, 2022.

Beyond Clean Season 15
How do you know that your chemicals in sterile processing are actually doing what the bottle says they should be doing? Join Greg Sautter, sales manager at Serim Research Corporation, as he discusses industry standards and expectations when it comes to verifying chemical-driven processes in sterile processing.


Issue 6 – 2/8

Leaving a Legacy Behind You: Dealing with Loss, Grief, and Value in Sterile Processing by Hank Balch
If you work long enough in our industry, you will likely encounter the loss of a sterile processing co-worker at one point or another. Perhaps your department has a small plaque outside the breakroom with someone’s name on it who has long since passed away, or you hear occasional stories about Ms. Judy from the OTs (original technicians) in your facility who keep her memory alive with smiles and chuckles. While most of us don’t like to ponder too long on something as morose as death, the truth is that it’s coming for all of us. As a manager, it’s not unheard of to lose one of your employees to cancer. As a co-worker, it’s not uncommon to hear of a heart attack taking someone from your team. Whatever the cause, losing a member of the sterile processing family is never easy and can impact your department in a number of ways. Let’s take a look at how to prepare for, respond to, and carry on in the face of loss among our teams.

Researchers engineer human spinal cord implants for treating paralysis
In a world first, researchers from Sagol Center for Regenerative Biotechnology at Tel Aviv University have engineered 3D human spinal cord tissues and implanted them in lab model with long-term chronic paralysis. The results were highly encouraging: an approximately 80% success rate in restoring walking abilities.

Study suggests COVID-19 increases risk of pregnancy complications
Pregnant women with COVID-19 appear to be at greater risk for common pregnancy complications—in addition to health risks from the virus—than pregnant women without COVID-19, suggests a study funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

What happens if high-income countries give away half of their COVID-19 vaccines?
Recent research warns that high-income nations that hoard their supplies of COVID-19 vaccines yields only local, short-term benefits, but in the long term, everyone is more vulnerable to infection.

2022 HSPA Conference & Expo registration open
Registration for the Healthcare Sterile Processing Association (HSPA, formerly IAHCSMM) 2022 Annual Conference in San Antonio, Texas, is now open. The in-person conference will be held April 23–27, 2022.

Beyond Clean Season 15
Mary Ann Drosnock, director clinical affairs at Healthmark Industries and the highest downloaded guest in Beyond Clean history, joins this episode to discuss endoscope reprocessing and the chemicals that are used. They also give a preview of the upcoming AAMI ST91 document.


Issue 5 – 2/1

LinkedIn for the Sterile Processing Professional, Part Two by Rebecca Kinney
Welcome back sterile processing (SP) professionals to Part Two on elevating your LinkedIn presence. If you missed part one, we covered why using the social platform is relevant today, how to create a profile that resonates, and the top three types of posts you should be making to gain traction and get more eyes on you today. If you missed it, you can read “LinkedIn for the Sterile Processing Professional, Part One” here. This issue, we will cover how to start building a personal brand, how to effectively share other people’s content, and how to grow your connections.

FDA approves second COVID-19 vaccine
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a second COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccine has been known as the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine; the approved vaccine will be marketed as Spikevax for the prevention of COVID-19 in individuals 18 years of age and older. 

Merck and Ridgeback’s COVID-19 antiviral pill active against Omicron
Merck and partner Ridgeback Biotherapeutics announced data from six preclinical studies demonstrating that molnupiravir, an investigational oral antiviral COVID-19 medicine, was active against the SARS-CoV-2 variant Omicron (B1.1.529) in vitro.

Making RNA vaccines easier to swallow
Like most vaccines, RNA vaccines have to be injected, which can be an obstacle for people who fear needles. Now, a team of MIT researchers has developed a way to deliver RNA in a capsule that can be swallowed, which they hope could help make people more receptive to them.

How many times can an N95 mask be worn?
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently changed its guidance regarding face masks, stating that cloth masks are no longer enough adequate to prevent transmission of the COVID-19 Omicron variant. The CDC now recommends people wear N95 or KN95 masks, which prompted the question, how many times can an N95 or KN95 mask be worn?

2022 HSPA Conference & Expo registration open
Registration for the Healthcare Sterile Processing Association (HSPA, formerly IAHCSMM) 2022 Annual Conference in San Antonio, Texas, is now open. The in-person conference will be held April 23–27, 2022.

Beyond Clean Season 15
What must the chemicals used in sterile processing be able to do before an independent laboratory validates them? Alpa Patel, B.S., RM (NRCM) principal specialist at Nelson Laboratories, LLC explains the life of a validation scientist and answers common questions related to chemicals and medical devices used in the sterile processing industry.