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NewSplash Archive – May 2022

Issue 22 – 5/31

Machine Qualification: Hands On, How to Do It by Jonathan A. Wilder, Ph.D., Managing Director
In three previous articles for NewSplash, I talked about installation qualification (IQ), operational qualification (OQ), and performance qualification (PQ). In this article we go from those first principles to hands-on execution of these activities. This specific application is for a washer-disinfector.

Will new vaccines be better at fighting coronavirus variants? 5 questions answered
The first three coronavirus vaccines earned emergency use authorization more than a year ago. To date, no other vaccines have been put into use in the US—but that will soon change. More than 40 vaccines are undergoing clinical trials in the US, employing a number of different approaches to protecting people from the coronavirus.

AI helps diagnose post-COVID lung problems
A new computer-aided diagnostic tool developed by King Abdullah University of Science & Technology (KAUST) scientists could help overcome some of the challenges of monitoring lung health following viral infection.

WHO update: Multicountry monkeypox outbreak in nonendemic countries
Since May 13, 2022, monkeypox has been reported to World Health Organization (WHO) from 23 Member States that are not endemic for monkeypox virus, across four WHO regions. Epidemiological investigations are ongoing. The vast majority of reported cases so far have no established travel links to an endemic area and have presented through primary care or sexual health services.

Discovery could lead to better cancer immunotherapy
A type of white blood cell previously known only as a helper in the immune system appears also to be the instigator of the body’s defenses against cancerous tumors. The discovery could lead to more effective cancer immunotherapy, a promising treatment which uses the body’s own immune system, rather than radiation, to attack cancer cells.

Beyond Clean Expert Series
Are you lost when it comes to tackling loaner and consignment trays in your department? Do you experience frustration when holding your reps accountable or when trying to influence surgeons to give you support for vendor management policies and processes? Don’t miss this exclusive podcast version of the 2022 Expert Series Conference, where our Vendor Management Expert™, Jeff Wertz, chief commercial officer at Surgio Health joins us and dives into all things loaners, consignment, and sales representatives.


Issue 21 – 5/24

Professional Aspirations: Breathe Life into Sterile Processing by Sarah B. Cruz, CSPDT, CRCST, CHL, CSSNerd
Let’s recall the last time we were inspired by sterile processing. This may have been when we started our first job in the field, passed our certification test, or helped in a high-stress situation. In that moment we felt pulled by our ambition and motivation to look to the outcome of our endeavors. Whatever this outcome was, it compelled us to thrive and shine in our professional brilliance. We were inspired to achieve our end goal.

When we begin to feel stuck, stagnant, and frustrated in our sterile processing careers, it may be because inspiration is blocked. That’s not to say that there aren’t daily expectations that result in successful patient safety; we can absolutely perform our jobs effectively while experiencing these feelings. However, due to the lack of inspiration, we begin hyperfocusing on the immediate concerns around us rather than the long-term results or goals we originally felt inspired to strive for. Our inspiration is blocked by our own focus on the situation around us.

Scientists devise method to prevent deadly hospital infections without antibiotics
A hospital or medical clinic might be the last place you’d expect to pick up a nasty infection, but approximately 1.7 million Americans do each year, resulting in nearly 100,000 deaths from infection-related complications and roughly $30 billion in direct medical costs.

mRNA vaccines like Pfizer and Moderna fare better against COVID-19 variants of concern
A comparison of four COVID-19 vaccinations shows that messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines—Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna—perform better against the World Health Organization’s variants of concern (VOCs) than viral vector vaccines—AstraZeneca and J&J/Janssen. Although they all effectively prevent severe disease by VOCs, the research, publishing May 17 in the open access journal PLOS Medicine, suggests that people receiving a viral vector vaccine are more vulnerable to infection by new variants.

It’s time to move to a scheduled COVID-19 vaccine booster model
The most effective way to maintain public health as COVID-19 becomes endemic is to move toward a regular COVID-19 booster schedule, according to a new position paper from ECRI, the nation’s largest nonprofit patient safety organization.

NIH announces antiviral drug development awards
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, has awarded approximately $577 million to establish nine Antiviral Drug Discovery (AViDD) Centers for Pathogens of Pandemic Concern. 

Beyond Clean Season 16
Poorly managed backup inventory data can be a major source of frustration and dramatically reduce assembly times and completion rates for your surgical trays. This episode’s guest is Bobby Parker, 2016 HPN SPD Department of the Year winner and clinical manager at Beyond Clean. Bobby discusses his experience managing the explosive potential of instrument extras.


Issue 20 – 5/17

FDA expands eligibility for Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine booster dose to children 5 through 11 years
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) amended the emergency use authorization (EUA) for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine, authorizing the use of a single booster dose for administration to individuals 5 through 11 years of age at least five months after completion of a primary series with the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine. 

Scientists identify characteristics to better define long COVID
A research team supported by the National Institutes of Health has identified characteristics of people with long COVID and those likely to have it. Scientists, using machine learning techniques, analyzed an unprecedented collection of electronic health records (EHRs) available for COVID-19 research to better identify who has long COVID.

FDA authorizes first COVID-19 test available without a prescription that also detects flu and RSV
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized the Labcorp Seasonal Respiratory Virus RT-PCR DTC Test for use without a prescription by individuals with symptoms of respiratory viral infection consistent with COVID-19. This product is the first direct-to-consumer (nonprescription) multianalyte COVID-19 test authorized by FDA and allows an individual to self-collect a nasal swab sample at home and then send that sample to Labcorp for testing.

Phage therapy: A model to predict its efficacy against pathogenic bacteria
Antibiotic resistance represents a major public health challenge, associated with a high mortality rate. While bacteriophages—viruses that kill bacteria—could be a solution for fighting antibiotic-resistant pathogens, various obstacles stand in the way of their clinical development.

Beyond Clean Season 16
With healthcare and procedure-based services increasingly growing outside of the OR environment, reprocessing support of clinics has become a major source of challenge among departments across the US. This episode’s guest is Angela Benson, sterile processing education specialist at UW Health in Madison, WI, and Beyond Clean Advisory Group member.


Issue 19 – 5/10

Special Words & All Things New: AAMI ST91 Updated Standard by Rebecca Kinney
The 2022 HSPA Conference & Expo in beautiful San Antonio was buzzing with excitement as tenured and new sterile processing (SP) technicians, industry leaders, and incredible educators all absorbed the experience like a sponge, and took their knowledge to soaring new heights.

One education session anxiously awaited by many was entitled “The New AAMI ST91: An Updated Standard for Flexible Endoscope Processing,” presented by Mary Ann Drosnock, MS, CIC, CFER, RM (NRCM), AAMIF, FAPIC Director, Clinical Affairs Healthmark Industries. This brilliant leader has dedicated 12 years to improving processes for endoscope reprocessing.

CDC recommendation for masks and travel
At this time, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone aged 2 and older—including passengers and workers—properly wear a well-fitting mask or respirator over the nose and mouth in indoor areas of public transportation (such as airplanes, trains, etc.) and transportation hubs (such as airports, stations, etc.). When people properly wear a well-fitting mask or respirator, they protect themselves and those around them, and help keep travel and public transportation safer for everyone.

Engineers develop fast and accurate COVID-19 sensor
Engineers at Johns Hopkins University, supported in part by the U.S. National Science Foundation, have developed a COVID-19 sensor that addresses the limitations of the two most widely used types of COVID-19 tests: PCR tests that require sample preparation, and the less accurate rapid antigen tests.

NIH launches clinical trial of Epstein-Barr virus vaccine
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, has launched an early stage clinical trial to evaluate an investigational preventive vaccine for Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). EBV is the primary cause of infectious mononucleosis and is associated with certain cancers and autoimmune diseases.

NIH should create an Office of Autoimmune Disease Research, says new report
While the quantity and quality of research that the National Institutes of Health (NIH) conducts on autoimmune diseases is impressive, a strategic plan and a well-funded office to support the coordination of all autoimmune disease research across NIH institutes and centers are needed, says a new congressionally mandated report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

Beyond Clean Season 16
Sterile processing professionals work hard every day to reprocess surgical instruments correctly and compliantly, but how do you prove it when the accreditation surveyors from The Joint Commission, DNV, and others show up with their clipboards and checklists? This episode, Sara Vinson, director of sterile processing at UF Health and Beyond Clean Advisory Group member, discusses her insights around using tracking system data to ace your accreditation survey visits.


Issue 18 – 5/3

Moderna files for authorization of its COVID-19 vaccine in young children 6 months to under 6 years of age
Moderna announced that it has submitted a request for emergency use authorization (EUA) for its COVID-19 vaccine (mRNA-1273) in children 6 months to under 2 years and 2 years to under 6 years of age to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and that similar requests are underway with international regulatory authorities. The requests are based on a 25-μg two-dose primary series of mRNA-1273.

Pfizer and BioNTech submit application for US emergency use authorization for a COVID-19 Vaccine booster dose in children 5 through 11 years of age
Pfizer and BioNTech submitted an application to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for emergency use authorization (EUA) of a 10-µg booster dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine for children 5 through 11 years of age. 

Researchers discover how Acinetobacter baumannii can survive on hospital surfaces without water
The pathogen Acinetobacter baumannii can survive on hospital surfaces—without water—for months, an ability that has helped it become a leading cause of hospital-acquired infections.

Why breakthrough COVID? Antibodies fighting original virus may be weaker against Omicron
If you’re wondering why after two vaccination doses and a booster shot, you still got sick from the Omicron strain of the virus that causes COVID-19, one possible answer may have been found in a recent study by researchers at Johns Hopkins Medicine and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Did you attend 2022 HSPA Conference & Expo? We want to know what you loved most
The 2022 HSPA Conference & Expo in San Antonio, Texas, wrapped last week. The annual conference provides educational and network opportunities for attendees, an expo for vendors to show their latest offerings to sterile processing and infection control products and services, and more.

Beyond Clean Season 16
This episode’s guest is Cody Troutt, MBA, CRCST, CHL, CIS, Beyond Clean Advisory Group member, and central sterile director at Williamson Medical Center. Cody discusses his approach to department and individual instrument data in how he leads technicians into excellence in his departments.