Outpatient Surgery Magazine

OR Excellence Award Winners - September 2017 - 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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FDA's Forced Air Letter Seems a Little Forced The FDA recommends you continue using 3M's forced-arm warmers. I t's OK to wheel your Bair Hugger out of the storage closet and start using it again. No, really. The FDA says so. You weren't the only one who got so spooked by those whispers that the Bair Hugger Forced Air Warming Device spread contaminants and increased infection risk that you stopped using the warming blanket that you and your patients love. You weren't the only one who'd rather let purple-lipped patients shiv- er and gnash their teeth than subject their surgical wounds to the con- taminated particles the blown air and waste heat allegedly sent swirling. And you weren't the only one who noticed the more than 2,600 patient lawsuits from all 50 states that allege the devices increase the risk of serious surgical infections. Apparently a lot of surgical facilities have stopped using forced-air warming blankets over fear of airborne contamination — certainly enough that the FDA took notice and issued what amounted to a plea to start using the product again. "The FDA recently became aware that some healthcare providers and patients may be avoiding the use of forced air thermal regulat- ing systems during surgical procedures due to concerns of a poten- tial increased risk of surgical site infection (e.g., following joint 1 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 • S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 7 Editor's Page Dan O'Connor • OK TO USE The FDA sent healthcare providers a letter last month say- ing that forced-air warmers are helpful, not harmful, during surgery.

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