Outpatient Surgery Magazine - Subscribers

Hip With the Times - July 2017 - 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/845806

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Page 160 of 168

rately measure fluid loss, if that's a concern.) Pour alternative Systems that require OR staff to manually pour contents down the drain may require the smallest capital outlay, but there's no question that they're also the most dangerous. We can speak from experience. We know of a nurse who was removing the suction tubing from a suction canister that hadn't been fully disconnected. The sudden change in pressure ejected the contents into her eyes, nose and mouth. Luckily, she wasn't injured, but it's the kind of experience you wouldn't wish on your worst enemy. The risk of occupational exposure can have an emotional impact as well as a physical one, and the literature is clear that nurses are most in harm's way when it comes to splashing, which is especially com- mon around and on the head, face and eyes. We also know that expo- sures are greatly underreported. And even when no splashing is apparent, pouring also carries the risk that aerosolized particles will contaminate clothes and work surfaces. Heavy concerns Solidifying the waste and hauling it away generally eliminates the pour- ing hazard, but in a high-volume environment, its costs can add up quickly. And in addition to the cost of the red-bag waste disposal, there are costs associated with canisters, hard-shell outer containers, solidi- fying agents and labels. It's been estimated that up to 40% of hospital- regulated medical waste is related to suction canister disposal. Another big problem is that solidified waste is heavy. It's not unusu- al for a single surgery to produce 3 or 4 3-liter containers that weigh 6 to 8 pounds each. You may also waste precious OR time while you wait for solidifiers J U L Y 2 0 1 7 • O U T PA T I E N T S U R G E R Y. N E T • 1 6 1

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