Tag Archives: HAIs

How to Deal With Pathogenic Microorganisms on Stethoscopes?

“Stethoscopes can take part in the transmission of health care-associated infections. We cultured 112 stethoscopes by direct imprint on blood agar to estimate the prevalence of potentially pathogenic microorganisms. Forty-eight (47%) produced 50 potentially pathogenic microorganisms; from these, 43 (86%) were Staphylococcus aureus, of which 18 (42%) were methicillin-resistant S. aureus. We concluded that stethoscopes should be considered as potential fomites and must be disinfected routinely before and after each patient contact.”

The above quote was taken from a study published in the American Journal of Infection Control on October 31, 2013, reminding us of all of the ways germs can be transmitted within the hospital. Just like a physician’s neck tie, lab coat, and blood pressure cuff, we know there are many common items in healthcare facilities that are capable of easily transmitting harmful bacteria. Instead of trying to wipe each item down with a disinfectant cloth, we have a better recommendation. By placing your stethoscope, blood pressure cuff, cell phone, keys, thermometer, pens, etc., into this mobile uv light station for 60 seconds, you can protect yourself and those around you from over 300 dangerous germs. UV Flash disinfecting system has shown a 100% kill rate on C. difficile, staphylococcus aureus, and acinetobacter baumanni in just 60 seconds.

This simple and effective disinfection solution saves healthcare workers from dealing with messy chemicals or spending too much time on disinfection. Just place the items inside, shut the door, and press start. The UV Flash is recommended for waiting rooms, clinics, lobbies, medical offices, nursing stations, ICU’s and more. See the proof.

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Filed under Healthcare Acquired Infections, Ultraviolet light to fight bacteria, Uncategorized

September 16, 2013

Monday Mash-upWe’re taking a non-biased poll today. We don’t know the right answer ourselves but it just might start an interesting discussion. After reading some articles in the news lately, it may just surprise us all what the perception is. Take the poll and find out, then come back next week for our follow up question.

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Filed under Daily Blog Posts, Healthcare Acquired Infections, Monday Mash Up, Uncategorized

August 20, 2013


Did you know?

A urinary tract infection (UTI) is the most common type of healthcare-acquired infection. And out of all hospital-acquired UTIs, 75% are associated with urinary catheters.

To learn more about signs and symptoms of Catheter-Associated Urinary Tract Infections (CAUTIs), take a look at our recent blog post.

source: cdc.gov

And here are the answers to yesterday’s Mash Up


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Filed under Daily Blog Posts, Healthcare Acquired Infections, Tuesday Trivia

August 6, 2013

Did you know?

  • 1 in every 20 patients admitted to a hospital will contract an HAI (Healthcare-Acquired Infection)
  • 1 in every 20 patients that contracts an HAI will die

Those don’t sound like good odds to me…

source: Tedx Charleston “The Secret and the Solution”

Check out the results of yesterday’s joke battle!

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Filed under Daily Blog Posts, Healthcare Acquired Infections, Tuesday Trivia

July 12, 2013


What’s Going on in YOUR Sterile Processing Department?

How important is the cleanliness of your surgical instruments to you? Unless you’re working directly in the healthcare world, it’s probably not even something you think about. But you should be thinking about it, and I’ll tell you why.

If you’ve been keeping up to date on the news lately, you know that superbugs and viruses are more prevalent and stronger than ever. Outbreaks are popping up all over, from cruise ships to your meat to hospitals. Yup, I just said hospitals, the place you go to GET RID OF your illness not gain another one. So if your doctor is operating on someone with one of those viruses or superbugs, I’m betting you want his or her surgical instruments to be completely cleaned and sterilized before they’re used on you. Right? So this makes the job of a Sterile Processing Department (SPD) Technician really, really important. Right?

But wait, with the exception of New Jersey, SPD Technicians in the United States don’t even require certification. We all just agreed that SPD Technician’s job is important. And I’m sure these technicians are great at what they do. But we must also take natural human error into account. Add that to the fact that SPD professionals are expected to clean more and more instruments in less and less time. So how are we making sure that decontamination and sterilization is kept consistent and to the same high standard in every hospital across the country? Good question. It seems like we standardize everything else. In fact, here are 5 jobs you might be surprised to know require certification:

  1. Nail Technician
  2. Personal Trainer
  3. Truck Driver
  4. Mechanic
  5. Massage Therapist

And I’m not saying at all that these jobs shouldn’t require certification. I think these are all important jobs, and these workers should be trained to some sort of standard in order to perform their job to the best of their ability. But if the person giving me my manicure needs to pass a test to prove they’re qualified, I would think the person cleaning the surgical instruments being put INSIDE my body should be certified as well.

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Filed under Daily Blog Posts, Gimme Five Friday

June 26, 2013


TED events have gained fame as a way for experts in every field imaginable to share new ideas with and learn from other innovators around the world.

At TEDx Charleston, Michael Schmidt, Chairman of Microbiology and Immunology at the Medical University of South Carolina, explained what he believes is “The Secret and the Solution” to helping control HAIs (Healthcare-Acquired Infections). Watch here to find out what it is…

A note to those who received our email on this TEDx talk: The number of people admitted to the hospital each year in the United States is 35 million, not 35 billion. 35 million is alarming enough, thank goodness that was only a typo!

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Filed under Daily Blog Posts, Watch it on Wednesday

June 20, 2013


Until the Water Runs Clear? Really? That’s it? 

The other day, I was reading through a Reprocessing Instructions Manual explaining how to properly clean, disinfect, and sterilize a certain kind of laparoscopic instrument.  I know, I know, you wish your life was as exciting as mine. Anyways, as I was reading, I came across this phrase under the “Flush” step of cleaning (the step in which the inside of the instrument’s flush port is rinsed with pressurized water): “Continue flushing until all water exiting the instrument is clear”. After that sentence, the “Flush” was complete, and the worker was supposed to move on to the next step. Does that worry you at all? Maybe not yet. Let me try to explain why that simple sentence made me feel sick to my stomach.

Let’s Compare: Lasagna vs. Bioburden

Have you ever had to wash the dishes after a lasagna dinner (I swear this is relevant, I’m not just craving some Italian)? If you have, then you know what a pain in the you-know-what it is. Lasagna sticks. The tomato sauce, noodles, and cheese form a gooey paste that sticks to the pan and the prongs of your fork. It sticks kind of like the way blood and bacteria sticks to surgical instruments.

If, when washing that sticky pan, I spray it until I think the water “runs clear”, I’m going to end up with leftover residue that will harden to the pan and make my future dishes taste like stale lasagna. And that’s all I could picture when I read those Reprocessing Instructions. Except, instead of lasagna residue on a pan, it’d be blood and bioburden caked onto the inside of a laparoscopic instrument. And, instead of lasagna residue mixing into my future meals, it would be bacteria mixing into someone else’s blood in future surgeries. And that’s why I felt sick to my stomach.

What’s my Point?

Obviously, there are quite a few major differences between washing a lasagna pan and cleaning surgical instruments. The lasagna image is a metaphor, not a literal comparison. So don’t panic, I’m not trying to tell you that since my lasagna pans are a pain to get clean, your SPD (Sterile Processing Department) is a mess as well.

My point is just to help you visualize what could happen if a clean vs. unclean judgment is made based on human observation. Flush the inside of the instrument or the surface of a pan until the water looks clear to me? What if my glasses are smudged, so I can’t see that clearly? What if I’m tired, so I’m not paying as close attention as I should be? Thankfully, if my lasagna pan isn’t actually clean, cheese and tomato sauce is easy to spot and scrub away. And a clean lasagna pan isn’t a life or death situation.

But SPD workers can’t see the inside of the laparoscopic instruments they are cleaning to spot blood and tissue residue. And the cleanliness of a surgical instrument IS a life or death situation. So is flushing an instrument “until the water runs clear” really the best we can come up with?

If you think there should be a better way, you’re not alone. Take a look at the surgical washers on our website, using the latest technology, automated processes, and consistent cleanliness levels rather than relying on human judgment.

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Filed under Daily Blog Posts, Surgical Instrument Cleaning, Thursday Thought of the Day