Outpatient Surgery Magazine

OR Excellence Awards 2016 - September 2016 - 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.

Issue link: http://magazine.outpatientsurgery.net/i/726435

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Page 142 of 146

Case in point: Just last week, while preparing a graft for an ACL reconstruction, I was transfixed on trimming the graft to the appropri- ate size that I forgot that I had placed a prominent needle near the field. While reaching for the graft, yes, you guessed it: I speared my palm with the prominent needle tip. Three Hail Mary's and 2 exple- tives later, I inquired about the patient's risk profile. Thank God the patient was risk-averse: His idea of shooting up was the enema bag. Since I am married with 2 children, I take these events with more reverence and report to our trusty charge nurse. Which means I earn a trip to occupational health (or ER if after 3 p.m.) and have every bloodborne disease titer known to man checked in my blood. In addi- tion, I have to obtain consent from my patient to draw blood to check for everything from HIV infection to mad cow disease. Four hours and minus one unit of blood later, I am usually assured that my hepatitis titers are okay and that the patient was clean. My 4 rules of prevention When you're aware of your surroundings and practice good safety hygiene, punctures simply shouldn't happen, right? But they do. Here are my 4 sharps prevention practice tips that everyone scrubbed should practice: 1. Know the domain of sharps. First of all, sharps should not be near the operating field. For last week's mea culpa, I should have disposed of the sharp needle ASAP. A good friend recently lacerated his ulnar nerve when he rested his elbow on a Mayo stand, only to find that a promi- nent 11 blade had penetrated his cubital tunnel. Be aware. 2. No-passing zone. The seemingly mundane task of placing sharps in a basin and not directly transferring to OR personnel is a game- changer and will lessen punctures immensely. Yes, it is one extra step, but less direct handling equals less chance of injury. O C T O B E R 2 0 1 6 • O U T PA T I E N TS U R G E R Y. N E T • 1 4 3

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