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Difficult Airways - April 2015 - 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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the gash, but a blood test revealed no infection. I was lucky. The incident served as a valuable learning experience, one that provided me with lessons I remember to this day: Always know where sharps are located, from the time they're needed to the moment they're disposed of, and always look before you reach. 2 Keep the sterile field organized Sharps should always be easily visible and placed where they are at no risk to you or anyone who reaches onto the Mayo stand or back table. To help keep track of where sharps are at all times, place them in standardized spots, no matter what kind of case you're working. Managing the same setup — needles here, blades there — lets you know intuitively where to reach and where to avoid. Keep very few sharps on the Mayo stand; store them instead on the back table. 3 Maintain eye contact You know surgeons will keep their gaze on the surgical site when passing, so it's your responsibility to watch sharps to ensure they're handled correctly. Keeping direct eye contact on the sharp — never pass a sharp while looking at the back table, which I've seen done — lets you meet the surgeon's hand to place or remove items in a safe way. Using a neutral zone for hands-free passing is an added precaution, as long as the surgeon and the surgical team agree on where on the sterile field the zone will be located and verbally confirm it before the case begins. Some teams pass sharps through a basin, but surgeons and techs have to reach into it to remove items, a practice that could increase the risk of injury. Surgeons should say "SHARP BACK" or "KNIFE ON THE MAYO STAND" when passing items back to assistants, although some docs are more vocal than others. You can set a positive example by always announcing the items you pass to surgeons. A lot of the verbal communication that 8 5 A P R I L 2 0 1 5 | O U T P A T I E N T S U R G E R Y . N E T

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