Outpatient Surgery Magazine

Special Outpatient Surgery Edition - Staff & Patient Safety - October 2017

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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O C T O B E R 2 0 1 7 O U T P A T I E N TS U R G E R Y. N E T 4 9 Remind surgeons that they aren't the only ones at risk of being cut. In fact, most scalpel injuries occur when convention- al instrumentation is being assembled and disassembled, when it's being passed between surgical team members and when blades are disposed of. Surgical techs, surgical assistants and nurses constantly handle scalpels during these tasks, meaning they're in danger of being exposed to potentially infec- tious blood and bodily fluid. Safety scalpels would reduce the potential for injury to surgical team members, but surgeons, who are the least likely to get injured and therefore don't have as strong a perceived self-risk, are reluctant to switch to safer blades. Tapping into their concern for the well-being of the peo- ple they work with on a daily basis might convince them otherwise. 2. Emphasize the dangers Needlesticks and scalpel cuts are equally worri- some with respect to exposure to numerous bloodborne pathogens, but scalpels can also slice through tissue and tendons. Scalpel injuries cause larger wounds, expose more tissue and produce more blood, and therefore increase cross- contamination risks P Doesn't it make sense that surgeons want to work with scalpels that have the feel, quality and precision of the instruments they currently use?

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