Over 3,700 People Exposed to Blood-Borne Diseases
The safety and protection of patients from further injury or infection must be front of mind for healthcare professionals. When this is not the case, there may be severe risks to patient health.
On December 25, 2018, the New Jersey state department of health reported that a breach in sterilization and infection control procedures had occurred at an an ambulatory surgery center, HealthPlus Surgery Center, located in Saddle Brook. Over 3,700 people who underwent procedures at the center were exposed to blood-borne illnesses such as HIV, Hepatitis B, and Hepatitis C.
What Went Wrong
In a statement, HealthPlus confirmed staff were not following proper sterilization procedures “and failed to comply with other regulations regarding the dispensing and storage of medication, as well as infection control planning and procedures.” According to both HealthPlus and the New Jersey health department, there have not yet been any reports of infection or illness.
How to Prevent Injury and Infection in Your Practice
Instances like this stress the importance of maintaining the safety of and protecting vulnerable populations. Choosing the right Biological Indicators, which guarantee sterilization and disinfection control, are a crucial step toward safeguarding patient safety and protection. Avoid unnecessary risks by making sure your medical team has the right procedures in place and uses reliable biological indicators to ensure sterilization of all instruments and compliance in all regulations.
Why Biological Indicators are Necessary
As we now know, prior to sterilization, nearly everything within our reach has germs on them. This includes surgical tools, medical professional’s hands and persons, and can extend to everything that comes into contact with a person’s bare skin.
“Staph” is a common bacterium and just one of many organisms that can attack our bodies if proper sterilization protocols aren’t followed. Staph is carried on the skin or in the noses of approximately 25% of otherwise healthy people. Staph, when it enters even minor abrasions on skin, such as small cuts, or more major areas like surgical incisions, can cause a variety of infections, ranging from minor instances such as pimples or boils to serious surgical wound infections, bloodstream infections or pneumonia.
Sterilization eliminates the risks of staph and other organisms by inactivating dangerous microbes. Using Biological Indicators ensures sterilization was met.
Who Needs to Use Biological Indicators?
Essentially, anyone who is using a sterile product or is reusing instruments on multiple people must be utilizing biological indicators to prevent risks of infection, illness or injury to their patients or clients. This includes:
- Healthcare offices and professionals
- Pharmaceutical professionals and industries
- Dentist offices
- Outpatient surgery centers
- Body art professionals (tattoos and body piercings)
Using biological indicators protects people from unnecessary risks to their health, especially when they are already vulnerable to complications. By using biological indicators, someone’s health will be impacted by your choice.
Ensure Your Patients’ Safety with Mesa Labs
For more information on how Biological Indicators can protect your patients, clients and medical office, contact Mesa Labs today.
And stay up to date on our product updates, Biological Indicator best practices, special promotions, and the latest in industry news by subscribing to our free Spore News newsletter.