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NewSplash Archive – July 2020

Issue 30 – 7/28

The Devil Is in the Details in Decontamination by Alison Sonstelie
Technicians are faced with many detail-oriented tasks throughout their shift. The manufacturer’s IFUs must be followed and procedures should reflect best practices. The work is fast-paced and there is motivation to go as fast as possible. In the decontamination area, it’s easy to become flustered and feel pressured to work quickly when the first round of cases arrives, sometimes all at the same time. This creates opportunities for errors. It’s important to take your time during cleaning to protect the instrument assemblers and avoid rework. There are many seemingly small details that can ultimately affect whether the instruments are clean.

Vaccine candidate enters widespread testing in U.S.
The COVID-19 vaccine candidate developed by Moderna in collaboration with the National Institutes of Health has entered Phase 3 efficacy testing to see if the vaccine prevents the disease. Phase 3 testing includes up the 30,000 volunteers divided into two groups: one group will receive two injections of the mRNA-1283 vaccine 28 days apart, and the other group will receive a saline injection.

U.S., Pfizer sign contract for COVID-19 vaccine doses
The U.S. government entered into an agreement with Pfizer for a December delivery of 100 million doses of a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine that the company is currently developing with BioNTech SE. Under the terms of the agreement, the U.S. will pay nearly $2 billion for the initial doses and could buy another 500 million doses.

Platform to continuously and remotely monitor patients receives FDA clearance
Vitls Inc. announced that it has received 501(k) clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the Vitls Platform, which uses a single device to continuously and remotely monitor patient vital signs in real time in multiple healthcare settings, from the hospital to the home.

Engineers use electricity to speed up healing of broken bones
Engineers from the University of Connecticut are using electricity to accelerate the healing of broken bones. Electrical stimulation has proven to enhance bone regeneration, but the devices were large, cumbersome, and typically required wires or batteries and invasive surgical installation and removal.

Flu vaccine may reduce risk of Alzheimer’s disease, new study shows
People who received at least one flu vaccination were 17% less likely to get Alzheimer’s disease over the course of a lifetime, according to researchers at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth).

FDA issues guidance on unique device identifier system
On June 30, 2020, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued and immediately-in-effect guidance on its policy regarding compliance dates for class I and unclassified devices that are not implantable, life-supporting, or life-sustaining. The guidance states that, at this time, the FDA does not intend to enforce UID labeling, Direct Mark, GUDID Data Submission, and Standard Date Format requirements before September 24, 2022.

IAHCSMM call for presentations deadline is July 31
The 2021 IAHCSMM Annual Conference & Expo will be held on May 1–5, 2021, in Columbus, Ohio. The conference will provide a mix of educational workshops and presentations to showcase new ideas and methods of improvement in the sterile processing field.

OR Today Live! registration now open
Registration is open for OR Today Live! in Denver. The conference features industry-leading speakers, an expo hall, 25 educational sessions providing the ability to earn CEUs, and more.

New Beyond Clean episode is now available
Sterile processing technicians battle viruses on a daily basis. This week’s guest is Wava Truscott, PhD, who gives a crash course on viruses and explains what you can do to ensure they never make it out of your SPD alive.

 

Issue 29 – 7/21

The Missing Instrument Board by David Jagrosse
Are you still a paper-based department? If you’re wondering what I mean by that, I’m asking if you are computerized or are you even lucky enough to have a surgical instrument asset-management system (commonly referred to as an instrument-tracking system). Typically, when I ask audiences how many people have these systems, it’s less than 20%. These systems are wonderful if we have them, and they bring a lot to the table for the department terms of accuracy, efficiency, and productivity. For the rest of you who do not have these systems, we have to come up with processes that we can do on paper or manually if needed.

Moderna’s vaccine is safe, produces immune response
An experimental COVID-19 vaccine developed by Moderna showed it was safe and provoked an immune response in all 45 volunteers during an ongoing early stage study. Volunteers that received two doses had higher levels of virus-killing antibodies than the average levels seen in people who recovered from COVID-19.

IAHCSMM live broadcast winners announced
The IAHCSMM Online Education Conference has concluded, as have the live broadcasts from Ultra Clean Systems and NewSplash. Thank you to everyone who attended our virtual live broadcasts.

Experimental vaccine prompts immune response in early testing
An experimental coronavirus vaccine developed by scientists at Oxford University has shown in an early trial to prompt an immune response in hundreds of people who received the shot. The research was published in The Lancet.

Protein treatment trial called “a breakthrough”
The preliminary results of a clinical trial from biotech company Synairgen for a new treatment for COVID-19 patients showed that fewer patients needed intensive care. The treatment uses a protein called interferon beta, which the body produces naturally when there’s a viral infection.

Common drug may effectively neutralize virus that causes COVID-19
A common drug, already approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), may also be a powerful tool in fighting COVID-19, according to research published this week in Antiviral Research.

CBD may help avert lung destruction in COVID-19
Cannabidiol (CBD) may help reduce the cytokine storm and excessive lung inflammation that is killing many patients with COVID-19, researchers say.

British study clarifies which drugs help and hurt for COVID-19 treatment
There is a lot of information, both new and outdated, and misinformation going around about what drugs help and hurt for COVID-19 treatment, it can be overwhelming and confusing. British researchers aimed to clarify some of the noise surrounding which drugs help and which do not, with a focus on dexamethasone, a cheap and readily available steroid that has been shown to improve survival.

OR Today Live! registration now open
Registration is open for OR Today Live! in Denver. The conference features industry-leading speakers, an expo hall, 25 educational sessions providing the ability to earn CEUs, and more.

New Beyond Clean episode is now available
This episode features a discussion with Janet Prust, director of standards and global business development at 3M Health Care. As one of the leading experts in the field, Janet gives an overview of ANSI/AAMI ST58:2013 Chemical Sterilization and High-Level Disinfection in Health Care Facilities.

 

Issue 28 – 7/14

Reacting to Risks: How to Respond to Dangerous Practices in Sterile Processing Departments by Hank Balch
Join me on a short thought experiment: You are a second shift sterile processing technician in a medium-sized academic hospital on the East Coast. A few months ago you received your first industry certification, but you’re still one of the youngest members of your department team. In fact, they all still call you “newbie” to your face and behind your back.

As long as you’ve been working in this department, you’ve had questions about how particular staff members follow (or don’t follow) manufacturer’s instructions for use during the decontamination stage. But it wasn’t until studying for your certification exam that you realized how dangerous these processing shortcuts really were. Now, each time you get assigned to work in decontam with these particular co-workers you cringe, knowing that you will either have to ignore their risky behavior or do something about it.

IAHCSMM Online Educational Conference continues
The IAHCSMM Online Educational Conference continues with more than 3,500 registered attendees accessing on-demand educational sessions and live webinars, engaging with more than 60 exhibitors offering CE units or live product demonstrations, and more. The on-demand education sessions are offered through July 20.

Engineered llama antibodies neutralize COVID-19 virus
Antibodies derived from llamas have been shown to neutralize the SARS-CoV-2 virus in lab tests, U.K. researchers announced.

New class of safer analgesics discovered
Researchers at LSU Health New Orleans Neuroscience Center of Excellence have discovered a new class of pain-relieving and fever-reducing drugs that are nonaddictive and don’t cause damage to the liver or kidneys. Of the drugs currently available, opioids can cause addiction, NSAIDs can cause kidney damage, and acetaminophen can damage the liver if overused.

Shapeshifting a reality with 4D printing
Researchers at Rice University’s Brown School of Engineering have developed a method to print 3D objects that can be manipulated to take on different forms when exposed to changes in electric current, temperature, or stress. To accomplish this task, the researchers had to create a liquid crystal polymer ink that incorporates mutually exclusive sets of chemical links between molecules.

Brigham investigators develop sterilizable, alternative N95 mask
With N95 masks in short supply, a team of bioengineers and clinical experts from Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has been developing a new, sustainable solution for healthcare workers to provide protection during the pandemic. Made from sterilizable materials and known as the Injection Molded Autoclavable, Scalable, Conformable (iMASC) system, the team’s N95 mask alternative is still in its prototyping stage.

FDA publishes list of 55 hand sanitizers that may be toxic, says some users have died
The FDA has published a list of 55 hand sanitizers that may contain methanol, a substance that can be toxic when absorbed through the skin, and said it is aware of people who have died from methanol poisoning after using the hand sanitizers.

OR Today Live! registration now open
Registration is open for OR Today Live! in Denver. The conference features industry-leading speakers, an expo hall, 25 educational sessions providing the ability to earn CEUs, and more.

New Beyond Clean episode is now available
This week’s guest is Jason Pacino, CRCST, sterile processing operations manager at Highland Hospital in Rochester, NY. The topic is how his team focused on a goal of zero to reduce their hospital’s immediate-use steam sterilization (IUSS) rate.

 

Issue 27 – 7/7

Reprocessing Reusable Medical Devices: Standards, Recommendations, and Guidelines, part 2 by Chuck Hughes
In the first article, we discussed how reusable medical devices continue to become more and more complex, and thus so does compliance with reprocessing best practices. Complex reusable medical devices often have detailed multistep instructions for use (IFUs) that require special resources healthcare facilities may not have anticipated when they purchase, borrow, or trial new devices. We discussed how national survey organizations and many Department of Health (DOH) agencies now audit healthcare facilities for compliance with best practices as stated in our national standards, recommendations, and guidelines which we listed. And how adherence to reprocessing best practices ensures patient safety as one of our greatest threats is healthcare-associated infections (HAIs). While improperly reprocessed medical devices are not the leading cause of HAIs, it has been documented by the CDC and reported in the national media as one of the causes. For this reason, compliance with best practices as detailed in national standards, recommendations, and guidelines is critical for patient safety, for maintaining your healthcare facility’s accreditation, and to keep your facility out of the national news. Compliance not just some of the time, not most of the time, but all of the time.

IAHCSMM Online Educational Conference continues
The IAHCSMM Online Educational Conference is now underway with more than 3,500 registered attendees accessing on-demand educational sessions and live webinars, engaging with more than 60 exhibitors offering CE units or live product demonstrations, and more. The on-demand education sessions are offered through July 20.

Texas Medical Association publishes COVID-19 risk chart
The Texas Medical Association COVID-19 Task Force and Committee on Infectious Diseases have created a chart that ranks the risk levels associated with certain activities. The risk levels are based on input from physicians on the task force and committee.

The Joint Commission coronavirus resource page highlights real voices, stories
The Joint Commission has launched a coronavirus resource page featuring personal accounts from enterprise staff on the COVID-19 frontline. Topics range from firsthand accounts from pandemic hotspots to education during the pandemic to updates on new tools to fight COVID-19 and more.

Tune in to IAHCSMM Live for Ultra Clean Systems broadcasts
On Wednesday, July 8 at 10:15 a.m. ET, Ultra Clean Systems will broadcast its fourth live episode for the IAHCSMM Online Educational Conference. This episode will feature an overview of the Triton-series ultrasonic cleaning systems.

Scientists urge WHO to acknowledge virus spread can be airborne
A letter authored by two scientists from Australia and the U.S. and published in Clinical Infectious Diseases states that studies have shown “beyond any reasonable doubt that viruses are released during exhalation, talking, and coughing in micro droplets small enough to remain aloft in the air.” More than 200 scientists have joined them in this call to the World Health Organization (WHO) to acknowledge that the coronavirus can spread in the air.

OR Today Live! registration now open
Registration is open for OR Today Live! in Denver. The conference features industry-leading speakers, an expo hall, 25 educational sessions providing the ability to earn CEUs, and more.

Beyond Clean launches Season 9
Season 9 of Beyond Clean begins with an interview with Lori Ferrer, BS, CST, CRCST, and the director of the central processing center at Fairview Health about the crowing trends of the centralization of sterile processing services in the U.S. They also discuss how and why her team received national recognition for their department in 2020.