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Answering the Call - May 2020 - 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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adding an extra layer of protection by limiting staff exposure during high-risk aerosolizing procedures like intubations, during which only anesthesia staff can be present in the OR. The process will also involve a plastic intubation box placed around the patient. Although proper PPE is certainly a must for your staff during the pandemic, maintaining an adequate inventory presents its own set of challenges. Ms. Williams has taken several steps to maintain PPE lev- els. "We have around 300 N95s right now, and we just purchased another 600," she says. To make that supply last, Lakeland will reprocess the masks with a five-minute sterilization cycle on each side. Plus, Lakeland is reviewing their PPE supplies weekly and casting a wide net that goes beyond its usual vendors. "When the pandemic first hit, we had an opportunity to purchase a shipment of 300 N95s, and we jumped on it," says Ms. Williams. How long will staff be required to wear N95s round the clock? Like most facilities learning to adapt to a rapidly evolving situation, Ms. Williams says only time will tell. The facility has, however, made its COVID-19 policy a live file, so that leadership can react and make nec- essary changes to its protocols as efficiently as possible. Another piece of safety equipment that could benefit your facility in multiple ways is a smoke evacuator. If placed correctly, it will remove viruses in the same manner as utilized to evacuate surgical smoke. Smoke evacuators are designed to remove smoke and aerosols. The constituents of both can basically contain the same type of bacteria or viruses. "We know smoke evacuators can capture viruses, whether it's SARS, HPV or HIV, and they capture at a 99.9% efficiency in the matrix system with its filters, so why wouldn't we use it for induc- tions?" asks Ms. Dennis. 4 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 • M A Y 2 0 2 0

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