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NewSplash Archive – January 2022

Issue 4 – 1/25

Current vaccines teach T cells to fight Omicron
Scientists at La Jolla Institute for Immunology (LJI) have found that four COVID-19 vaccines (Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, J&J/Janssen, and Novavax) prompt the body to make effective, long-lasting T cells against SARS-CoV-2. These T cells can recognize SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern, including Delta and Omicron.

Do I qualify for a COVID-19 vaccine booster, and which one?
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently updated guidance regarding COVID-19 vaccine boosters. The change in guidance may have caused some confusion.

Predicting long COVID at initial point of COVID-19 diagnosis
A significant portion of people who contract the SARS-CoV-2 virus—some estimates suggest more than 40%—suffer chronic effects known as post-acute sequelae of COVID-19 (PASC), commonly referred to as long COVID. PASC symptoms include fatigue, brain fog, the loss of taste and smell, shortness of breath, and more.

Antimicrobial resistance third leading cause of death globally
A recent study published in The Lancet has shown that in 2019, drug-resistant bacterial infections were responsible for 4.95 million deaths, with 1.27 million deaths caused directly by antibiotic resistance, making it the third leading cause of death globally. Low- and middle-income countries were particularly affected.

ECRI releases Top 10 Health Technology Hazards for 2022 Executive Brief
ECRI’s Top 10 Health Technology Hazards list identifies potential sources of danger and offers practical recommendations to reduce risk. This year’s list includes first-time entries and potential dangers built upon from the 2021 list, including building stronger and more resilient processes and leveraging innovations and lessons learned during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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
Kristopher Murphy, Ph.D., director of chemistry at Cantel Medical, joins Beyond Clean this week to discuss the complex, time-sensitive challenge of bedside cleaning endoscopes. What’s so difficult about developing chemicals specifically for endoscope reprocessing, and how does time factor into how the chemicals are designed, delivered, and behave during use?

 

Issue 3 – 1/18

Sterile Processing: Personal & Professional by Sarah B. Cruz, CSPDT, CRCST, CHL, CSSNerd
There is a lot of discussion around professional development in the sterile processing industry. And while our industry speaks clearly to the benefits of developing professionally, it can’t seem to articulate actionable steps to the technicians eagerly awaiting them. This is because professional development does not mean the same thing to every SP professional. An exact map of how to get from Point A to Point B professionally cannot be drafted and applied to every professional perfectly. Our professional development journey is created based on our ability to develop personally. Personal dedication to ourselves is vital to overall professional success. For a sterile processing technician to develop and grow in their professional journey, they must first know what they are striving for. 

Study explains where and how you’re most likely to catch COVID
As the COVID-19 Omicron variant continues its surge, many are wondering what places and activities are safe and what to avoid. A recent study published in Environmental Science & Technology explains how airborne particles behave, how they’re transmitted from person to person, what activities and places are safest, and what put people most at risk of infection.

Eye drops could help people leave reading glasses behind
As we age, many of us rely on reading glasses to view objects or read material up close, leaving us with few options: wear glasses or undergo corrective surgery. But people in their 40s and 50s may soon have another option.

Cerebrospinal fluid offers clues to post-COVID brain fog
Some patients who develop new cognitive symptoms after a mild bout of COVID have abnormalities in their cerebrospinal fluid similar to those found in people with other infectious diseases. The finding may provide insights into how SARS-CoV-2 impacts the brain.

WHO recommends two new drugs to treat COVID-19
The World Health Organization (WHO) has recommended two new drugs for COVID-19, providing yet more options for treating the disease. The extent to which these medicines will save lives depends on how widely available and affordable they will be.

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
Ethylene oxide gas (EtO/EO) is a polarizing and often misunderstood chemical in sterile processing. This week, Sean Weir, sterile processing educator at UPMC and Beyond Clean Advisory Group member, discusses his experiences with EO sterilant, equipment, workflow, and how department leaders and technicians can address the chemical with new hires.

 

Issue 2 – 1/11

New study suggests N95 respirators can be safely reprocessed to augment supply in future epidemics
Results from a study published in the American Journal of Infection Control (AJIC) suggest that a common type of N95 respirator can be safely reprocessed to augment supply during future epidemics. Researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) reprocessed respirators using vaporized hydrogen peroxide (VHP), a standard decontamination approach, and found that the devices maintained their function and effectiveness on human subjects with up to 25 cycles of reuse.

CDC updates quarantine and isolation guidelines
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently updated guidance on COVID-19. To address the confusion that resulted from the updated guidance, the CDC updated the Quarantine and Isolation page on its website.

Insurance companies will be required to cover cost of at-home COVID-19 tests
As part of its ongoing efforts across many channels to expand Americans’ access to free testing, insurance companies and group health plans will be required to cover the cost of over-the-counter, at-home COVID-19 tests, so people with private health coverage can get them for free starting January 15. The new coverage requirement means that most consumers with private health coverage can go online or to a pharmacy or store, buy a test, and either get it paid for up front by their health plan, or get reimbursed for the cost by submitting a claim to their plan.

CDC expands booster shot eligibility and strengthens recommendations for 12–17 year olds
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is endorsing the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices’ (ACIP) recommendation to expand eligibility of booster doses to those 12 to 15 years old. CDC now recommends that adolescents aged 12 to 17 should receive a booster shot five months after their initial Pfizer-BioNTech vaccination series.

Researchers develop inexpensive COVID-19 vaccine that could be used globally
Researchers in Texas have developed an inexpensive COVID-19 vaccine that is safe and effective. The vaccine, called CORBEVAX, relies on old but proven technology, which allows it to be manufactured more easily than other COVID-19 vaccines.

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
This week’s guest is Sara Vinson, director of sterile processing at UF Health and a Beyond Clean Advisory Group member. Sara discusses elements that every user and vendor should consider regarding chemical use and purchasing in their sterile processing departments, noting that chemicals developed to accomplish the same goals, such as manual cleaning, often have different delivery systems, doing recommendations, concentrations, and costs.

 

Issue 1 – 1/4

Competition Versus Collaboration: Getting ahead in SPD without Losing Sight of the Ultimate Goal by Hank Balch
With the new year upon us, many of you may be crafting your resolutions for the next 12 months, or at least hoping to check off that next big thing in 2022.

Will it be a promotion? New microcredential? Nationally recognized award or distinction for your department?

There are countless worthy goals out there for driven sterile processing professionals who earnestly care about becoming the best weapon of mass microbial destruction they can be. Whatever your aim, and whenever you seek to accomplish it, you will likely run into situations where you are forced to work through the tedious choices caused by natural competitive spirit and the critical need to collaborate as a broader industry. After all, there is only one manager position in your hospital. If you get it, that means someone else does not, and vice versa. Similarly, many of you are pursuing industry certifications and microcredentials, and while there is no competition between who can get these things, there is often a race to see who can get them first.

IAHCSMM changes name
From June 22 through July 12, 2021, members of the International Association of Healthcare Central Service Materiel Management (IAHCSMM) voted to change the association’s name to Healthcare Sterile Processing Association (HSPA). The new name better reflects the role of the professionals represented by the association.

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 kicks off Season 15
Beyond Clean kicks off Season 15, The Chemical Epicenter, with a conversation with Tom Overbey, previous Beyond Clean Ultrasonic Expert Series contributor and media consultant to Healthcare Sterile Processing Association (HSPA, formerly IAHCSMM). Tom discusses cavitation, ultrasonic energy, and the chemistries used in ultrasonic machines.