Outpatient Surgery Magazine - Subscribers

What's the Harm? - December 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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3 4 O U T P A T I E N T S U R G E R Y M A G A Z I N E O N L I N E | D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 5 An Infection Risk at the Head of the Table? There might be if your anesthetists practice poor hand hygiene. Y es, we anes- thesia providers routinely do things that the folks on the surgery side of the table would consid- er abominable. For example, not disin- fecting our hands after airway manip- ulation, not putting gloves on to start an IV and not cleaning the anesthesia workstation between cases. Not that we're bad people, or less skilled, or less intelligent. The problem is that there's a cultural divide that's been perpetuated for many decades. The demarcation is the surgical drape between anes- thesia and surgery, and the different standards are on display every day. One reason is that it's nearly impossible to maintain aseptic tech- nique when you're required to use both hands and then quickly move them to something else. While intubating, for example, you may have to quickly reach over and touch the reservoir bag to ven- tilate the patient. Or you may have to adjust the ventilator circuit, or inject drugs into stopcocks. Hands in motion Anesthesia providers are involved in a continuous stream of activity. And a lot of tasks involving the patient, the equipment and drugs have A N E S T H E S I A A L E R T Clarence J. Biddle, CRNA, PhD z DOUBLE STANDARD Shocking breaches of aseptic technique routinely occur on the anesthesia side of the surgical drape.

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