The Problem with TEE (and The Solution TOO)

Recently Fox News and NBC Nightly News and its investigators, (including renown physician Pritish Tosh, M.D., and representatives of the CDC) featured an outbreak of e-coli infections happening after surgeries that used this TEE probe.

What is “TEE”? Transesophageal echocardiography — or, TEE — is a diagnostic procedure that uses a specialized device to display sonographic images of the heart, known as echocardiograms (which are distinguished from “ECGs,” or electrocardiograms).

In these examples, a “physical defect” in the TEE probe may have caused the TEE probe to remain contaminated after reprocessing. The complex designs of arthroscopic shaver hand-pieces and inflow/outflow cannulae retained infectious bioburden after cleaning.

TEE is a risk factor for healthcare-associated infections of gram-negative bacteria including Legionella spp., Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and E. coli. Therefore, its proper reprocessing is required to prevent bacterial outbreaks. – Lawrence F Muscarella PhD

So how do we ensure proper reprocessing required to prevent bacterial outbreaks?

You may recall a somewhat similar situation of an outbreak of Pseudomonas aeruginosa featured on the Today Show back in 2009 in Houston, Texas.

Watch the Today Show segment here

Jahan Azizi is the head of infection control at the University of Michigan. Over the past few years here at Midbrook Medical, we have had the pleasure of working with him. Azizi, who was featured in this segment, has worked with Midbrook in order to deliver hospitals with the most effective surgical instrument washer.

One of the things Azizi talks about frequently that we’ve adapted ourselves is, “If it isn’t clean, it can’t be sterilized.” That’s what is happening with these instruments. When the instrument is still dirty and it goes into the sterilizer, the bio-burden is essentially getting baked on.

The Tempest process that uses ultrasonic, enzymatic soak, agitation, exterior fluid spray and interior lumen flush system. See for yourself why Jahan made sure to have the Tempest in his Central Sterile Processing Department.

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Filed under Healthcare Acquired Infections, Surgical Instrument Cleaning, Thursday Thought of the Day, Uncategorized

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