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NewSplash Archive – June 2022

Issue 25 – 6/21

CDC recommends COVID-19 vaccines for young children
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Rochelle P. Walensky, M.D., M.P.H., endorsed the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices’ (ACIP) recommendation that all children 6 months through 5 years of age should receive a COVID-19 vaccine. This expands eligibility for vaccination to nearly 20 million additional children and means that all Americans ages 6 months and older are now eligible for vaccination. 

Long COVID risk less during Omicron compared to Delta
The Omicron variant is less likely to cause long COVID than the Delta variant, new research has found.

Females far likelier to suffer with long COVID, underscoring a critical need for sex-disaggregated research
A new study published in the peer-reviewed journal Current Medical Research and Opinion, reveals that females are “significantly” more likely to suffer from long COVID than males and will experience substantially different symptoms.

Breakthrough technology could lead to one-time HIV treatment
Researchers from Tel Aviv University demonstrated success of a novel technology that may be developed into a one-time vaccine to treat people with HIV and AIDS. The team used CRISP systems, best known as a gene-editing technique, to engineer type B white blood cells that activate the immune system to produce HIV-neutralizing antibodies.

How a sports apparel company helped one Virginia health system pivot to reusable gowns
It started with a marketing email sent to avid rowers in the spring of 2020.

Beyond Clean Expert Series
Hydrogen peroxide sterilization is widely used, but compared to steam, our industry has a long way to go in understanding the true potential of this modality. Is it the solution for higher efficiency? Is it the silver bullet for safer endoscopes? Beyond Clean talks to Jean-Luc Lemyre about the background and future of this low-temperature workhorse.

 

Issue 24 – 6/14

The Slow Ladder Climb of Sterile Processing: Is an Advanced Degree Worth It? by Leslie Kronstedt
Ladders are a vertical line straight from the bottom to a goal or destination; you learn the skills and keep track of your accomplishments to slowly make your way up from an entry-level position. With time you advance from team lead to supervisor, only to find that the path is blocked by the need to return to college to further your education.

A sterile processing technician can enter the industry with high school education and no formal college education. They learn the skills of the job and the responsibilities that go along with it. As they become better, they have the opportunity to advance with supervisor positions or certifications ranging from Certified Registered Central Service Technician (CRCST) to Certified Healthcare Leadership (CHL) certifications, among others. However, now hospital administrations are moving away from hiring the technicians who have worked their way up to earn and learn the ins and outs of their departments. Instead, even essential supervisory roles quickly require a college degree to qualify. 

FDA recommends EUA of Novavax COVID-19 vaccine for people aged 18 years and older
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) voted 21 to 0, with one abstention, to recommend that the FDA grant emergency use authorization (EUA) for the Novavax COVID-19 vaccine (NVX-CoV2373) for individuals aged 18 years and over.

Bacterial intimacy insights could help tackle antimicrobial resistance
Researchers have uncovered new details about how bacteria hook up to exchange DNA that helps them resist antibiotics.

Nanoparticle sensor can distinguish between viral and bacterial pneumonia
Many different types of bacteria and viruses can cause pneumonia, but there is no easy way to determine which microbe is causing a particular patient’s illness. This uncertainty makes it harder for doctors to choose effective treatments because the antibiotics commonly used to treat bacterial pneumonia won’t help patients with viral pneumonia.

Rune Labs secures FDA clearance for Parkinson’s disease monitoring through StrivePD on Apple Watch
Rune Labs announced its StrivePD software ecosystem for Parkinson’s disease has been granted 510(k) clearance by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to collect patient symptom data through measurements made by Apple Watch. By combining powerful wearable technology and self-reported symptom information with brain imaging, electrophysiology, genetic, and other clinical data, StrivePD enables a data-driven approach to care management and clinical trial design for Parkinson’s.

Beyond Clean Expert Series
This episode, Dustin Patterson, regional sales manager at LogiQuip, talks about the little-known but extremely important storage concepts that can save you from stress and ensure your patient-ready trays can be found when the patient is ready for them. Items move, shelves tend to get overloaded, efficiency goes by the wayside, and then something big finally causes everyone to wake up to the risk caused by a broken storage process. 

 

Issue 23 – 6/7

Locker Room Talk: Caring for Your Sterile Processing Teams Before, During, and After Work by Hank Balch
The first place a sterile processing professional steps foot in to start their day is the department locker room. In fact, it’s also the last place they leave before heading home. What do they find there? Does the space send signals they are valued, respected, and supported? Or is this space saying something completely different?

Although the department locker room has no reprocessing equipment in it, limited regulatory oversight, and is largely unsupervised, locker rooms are the professional bookend for every single technician who works on your team. Sterile processing days start and end here, so it is well worth considering how the quality of your locker room may be positively or negatively impacting your department’s culture.

“Masked” cancer drug stealthily trains immune system to kill tumors while sparing healthy tissues, reducing treatment side effects
Many cancer treatments are notoriously savage on the body. Drugs often attack both healthy cells and tumor cells, causing a plethora of side effects. Immunotherapies that help the immune system recognize and attack cancer cells are no different.

Bacteria-killing drills get an upgrade
Molecular machines that kill infectious bacteria have been taught to see their mission in a new light.

New study unravels why COVID-19 antibody treatments aren’t as effective for new variants
A new study published in Biochemistry is the first to explore the effects of multiple mutations in the evolution of SARS-CoV-2 variants. The findings can help scientists better understand the properties of current and new variants.

Novel method for early disease detection using DNA droplets
Aqueous droplet formation by liquid-liquid phase separation (or coacervation) in macromolecules is a hot topic in life sciences research. Of these various macromolecules that form droplets, DNA is quite interesting because it is predictable and programmable, which are qualities useful in nanotechnology.

Beyond Clean Expert Series
Are your peel packs crumbling around you? Do you see holes, rips, tears, or even damage to the surgical instruments themselves? This episode’s guest, Craig Ford, founder and president of SterileBits, Inc., talks about the ins and outs of instrument protection.