Outpatient Surgery Magazine

Staff & Patient Safety - October 2019 - Subscribe to Outpatient Surgery Magazine

Outpatient Surgery Magazine, providing current information on Surgical Services, Surgical Facility Administration, Outpatient Surgery News and Trends, OR Excellence and more.

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5 0 • O U T PA T I E N T S U R G E R Y M A G A Z I N E • O C T O B E R 2 0 1 9 A ctive patient warm- ing prevents hypothermia and many related com- plications such as cardiac trouble, impaired immune function, increased risk of infection and lengthier post- op stays. But you have to worry about an entirely new set of safety issues when staff don't follow proper warming proto- cols. Unfortunately, that occurs far more often than it should. "Warming devices aren't benign pieces of equipment designed solely for patient comfort," says Michelle Feil, MSN, RN, CPPS, WCC, clinical practice leader at Penn Medicine in Philadelphia, Pa. "These are therapeutic medical devices that carry a real risk for patient harm." Ms. Feil would know. She authored a Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority report that analyzed 278 harmful or potentially harmful events associated with patient warming devices (osmag.net/7yCKNk). Here are a few of the real-world warming mishaps she discovered. Jared Bilski | Senior Associate Editor Patient Warming Pitfalls to Avoid One of surgery's most basic patient safety practices is riskier than you might think. • BAD IDEA Disconnecting the hose on forced-air warming units and using it to directly warm the patient or the bed can lead to serious burns and contaminate the sterile field.

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