Monthly Archives: February 2012

Introducing Innovative Solutions

Welcome to the Midbrook Medical Blog. The purpose of this blog is to raise awareness of a devastating problem in the delivery of healthcare that we all are likely to face, either personally or with a family member or friend.  Fortunately, there is a solution. Our desire is to bring the solution to the medical industry as quickly as possible and before more lives are unnecessarily lost or harmed by existing practices.

Imagine the experience of supporting a loved one as they are admitted into a hospital. We prepare physically and emotionally to encounter the challenges that come with the disease or injury. We trust and hope the services and intervention given will be successful and will allow the healing process to begin.

Now imagine our hopes are lost – not by the disease or injury itself, but by an infection caused by a dirty surgical instrument and resulting Hospital Acquired Infection.  Sadly, hospital acquired infections have become one of the greatest risks of entering a hospital today. The consequences are staggering. Families are directly impacted financially and emotionally with the potential for suffering and loss of life.  The cost to our healthcare system is immeasurable.

Here’s the dirty secret… The current methods of cleaning repurposed medical devices and surgical instruments leave much to be desired leaving a certain amount of residual biological material from exposure to previous patients.

Here’s the good news… Midbrook Medical has developed innovative products to address this problem. Our mantra at Midbrook Medical is, “When a healthcare organization decides to work with Midbrook Medical, they are not just buying medical products and services from another medical company – they are making a proactive decision to change the way they think about and protect those who work and those who are treated within their facility.  At Midbrook Medical, we specifically invest in developing a line of products and services that help hospitals lower costs, reduce hospital acquired infection rates, and provide high-quality care to assure positive patient outcomes.”

Please enjoy learning about this important subject. I invite you to follow this blog for timely updates and look forward to your comments, questions and participation.


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Today Show: Are Hospitals Using Dirty Surgical Tools?

Today Show: Are Hospitals Using Dirty Surgical Tools?

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Filed under Surgical Instrument Cleaning

The High Cost of Healthcare Infections

Unfortunately, when a patient acquires an infection in a healthcare facility, the costs to both the patient and the institution can be exorbitant.

Loss of life, loss of confidence, and loss of revenue are all serious consequences resulting from HAIs. The good news is that up to 70% of infections may be preventable.¹

Hospital Infections

One of the saddest situations in healthcare is when a patient becomes sick or even dies in the hospital – not due to their original aliment – but rather because of an infection that they acquired while receiving treatment. Based on numbers published by the CDC – in the U.S., nearly 300 patients die per day from healthcare-acquired infections.

Even for facilities that diligently follow protocol for hand-washing, cleaning, and sterilization – infections can still pose a serious threat. This is because with advancement in medical science, everything has become more complex: surgical devices, staff-to-patient interactions, and bacteria themselves. This complexity makes it difficult to fight infections. And while the medical field has advanced quickly, infection protection has not kept up with the times.  While many infections are treated with preventative antibiotics, we believe that the best types of infection prevention are those that kill the microorganisms before they infect the patient.

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Modern Surgical Instruments Require Advanced Cleaning

Technological advancements in medicine have led to more precise and narrow surgical instruments intended to save lives and minimize recovery time.  But often, the biggest threat to a patient is the bioburden and bacteria trapped inside the instrument from a previous patient.

Surgical Instrument Cleaning

The variations and subtle differences between surgical instruments pose challenges for manual cleaning.

Unclean Surgical Instruments CANNOT be Sterilized

As medical instruments have become more intricate, the same features that enable a surgeon to perform a minimally invasive procedure cause a nightmare for Central Sterile Technicians. Narrow lumens, bends, changing diameters, and other features common in modern surgical tools create barriers for manual brushing. Bioburden (including blood and other human residue) may become packed inside of instrumentation, creating a risk for infection and cross-contamination between patients. Although the instrument will be sterilized, the sterilization process is ineffective if bioburden is present.

Dirty Surgical Tools

Interior Lumen AFTER Sterilization

Interior of Dirty Surgical Instrument

Interior Lumen AFTER Sterilization

Dirty Surgical Tools

Interior Lumen AFTER Sterilization

These images show the interior lumens of surgical instrument AFTER they had been manually brushed and sterilized per the manufactures’ instructions.  Often times, a sterile crust is formed over the live bioburden and can be peeled away or re-moistened; thereby exposing live bacteria.


In most industries, a cleaning process starts by defining how clean is clean? The process ends only after the items being processed are validated – meaning that they are checked to ensure that they meet defined standards.

When Midbrook began working with the healthcare industry to develop cleaning and decontamination solutions, we were surprised to learn that many of the cleaning methods used in healthcare settings lacked a final validation step. Rather, in healthcare, the focus seemed to be on the process – in other words, validation only answered the question of: were all steps followed correctly?

Simply following cleaning steps does not guarantee a clean outcome – especially since variations in soil content and soil level can exist from instrument to instrument. Furthermore, processes that rely on manual cleaning are subject to human variables and errors – missed steps, distractions, and mix-ups.

That’s why other industries focus on results.  For decades, automated machinery has cleaned automotive and airplane parts with higher efficacy than hospitals clean surgical instruments.  As surgical instruments become more complex, the healthcare industry should adapt technologies that other industries use to clean intricate parts.  The results could reduce the transmission of HAIs from dirty surgical tools and save lives!


Filed under Surgical Instrument Cleaning