In Nata, Botswana on the African continent medical supplies are scarce.  The tiny clinic that serves the population of this remote village has learned to make do with whatever they can find.  In December the staff posted a plea for funds to buy a new stove.  They had been using an old fashioned pressure cooker to sterilize medical instruments.  When the gas stove finally broke down they could no longer perform even simple surgical procedures.  Turning away patients in need was heartbreaking since the nearest surgical hospital is 120 miles distant – an impossible journey for impoverished villagers.  Instruments now have to be sent to the nearest location with a sterilizer (60 miles away in Gweta).  Transporting the sterile items over such long distances greatly increases the risk that they will be re-contaminated during the journey back. (more…)

Infection control experts at a recent meeting of the Society of Healthcare Epidemiology of America released some surprising news.  This revelation concerns the inspiration of a certain thoughtful healthcare employee.  Jasper Palmer, who works at the Albert Einstein Healthcare network in Philadelphia, instinctively started a simple disposal technique that has since caught on with other healthcare staff. This innovation now reduces MRSA infections by between 26 and 62 percent in hospitals where it has been implemented. (more…)

The Passi City district hospital will have to try another source for its purchase of a steam sterilizer. The city of Iloilo granted the 1.1 million peso contract to someone they thought was a reputable supplier. They wound up with a piece of junk. Hopefully the procurement office will negotiate net 30 terms in the future to allow time to test equipment before handing over a check for such a sizable sum. An inspection was carried out by hospital personnel in concert with staff from the Commission on Audit (COA). The team found that the unit had no nameplate listing manufacturer information, brand name or model number. Other information was also missing. It is anyone’s guess where the machine came from. However, odds are good that its next destination will be the landfill. When hospital staff tried to fire up the equipment to perform basic testing, the defective autoclave promptly died. And that was just the tip of the iceberg. (more…)

On March 23rd, 2009, it was announced that a Veterans Affairs Hospital in Miami Florida used unsterile medical instruments on 3,000 patients.  The VA insists that the infection risk is minimal.  Yet they are getting in contact with each patient and recommending that they receive an HIV test as a precaution. The equipment in question was water pump tubing hooked up to instruments used during colonoscopies. (more…)

The CDC finished updating its latest version of the Guidelines for Disinfection and Sterilization in Healthcare Facilities in November.  The new publication represents the first comprehensive overhaul of this document since the 1980’s.  At a hefty 158 pages, this isn’t exactly light reading.  However, it is definitely written with an emphasis on clarity.  The terminology is simple enough for an entry level hospital technician to easily grasp.  This booklet will make a valuable addition to the library of any employee responsible for following proper disinfection protocols.  It is available for download at the CDC website in Adobe format.   Of special interest is the section on flash sterilization issues. (more…)

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recently released guidance for aggressive infection control to combat the new emerging nosocomial pathogen known as CRKP.  Carbapenem-Resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae is probably best known for an outbreak in Israel a few of years ago within the healthcare system there.  It is one of many carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) that is within the scope of the announcement. (more…)

The Managing Infection Control publication includes an interesting twist for 2009.  This year’s Sterilization Technology Showcase isn’t just about managing exposure to pathogens.  It also touches on protecting employees from chemicals as well.  In many cases, the danger of exposure comes from the very equipment and processes used to control microbial threats.  The Steri-Trac Monitoring System from CemDAQ is designed to address this problem.  The 2009 Showcase provides interesting information about how sterilization equipment can be monitored for safety. (more…)

LTE Scientific LTD recently unveiled a new line of 7 cylindrical laboratory autoclave models that come with an air ballast system as a standard feature.  These new Touchclave-R autoclaves are easy to use because of the Touchscreen panel.  At the same time, their state of the art menus with multiple levels of security prevent any unauthorized tampering with cycle settings. (more…)

In September of 2008, CHRIST Water Technology presented innovative solutions for water purification at a conference in Vienna. These processes are designed to remove both organic and inorganic pollutants from industrial and municipal water supplies. Such technologies are very important to many companies including pharmaceutical manufacturers. Quality assurance requires any water used be free of bacteria and other micro-organisms. (more…)

Steris Corporation and GE Healthcare announced a recent collaborative agreement to work together in support of interventional suites by integrating their leading edge technologies.  The announcement was made at the Society of Interventional Radiology annual meeting in San Diego on March 9th, 2009. (more…)

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