Tag Archives: forced-air warming gowns

Oct 20, 2016

Excitement builds ahead of ANESTHESIOLOGY® 2016

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Bair Hugger Patient Warming  Pediatric Donation

Excitement builds ahead of ANESTHESIOLOGY® 2016. Get a “sneak peek” at what we’ll be sharing. 

ANESTHESIOLOGY® 2016 is just days away, and we have some exciting announcements to share.

Since 1987, one of health care’s most iconic brands, the 3M™ Bair Hugger™ system, has provided innovative patient warming products with a singular purpose—the maintenance of perioperative normothermia in surgical patients.

Today 3M, a world leader in infection prevention, announced the launch of a revamped Bair Hugger brand. The 3M™ Bair Hugger™ Normothermia System incorporates a new visual identity with a more comprehensive product portfolio designed to better reflect its singular mission. The brand will be unveiled at the ANESTHESIOLOGY® 2016 conference in Chicago beginning Saturday, Oct. 22.

The Bair Hugger system, acquired by 3M in 2010 along with the Bair Paws™ patient adjustable warming system and the SpotOn™ temperature monitoring system, represents a legacy of industry first warming solutions and has safely, effectively warmed more than 200 million patients across the globe. The new Bair Hugger Normothermia System brand will incorporate all three product lines into one, cohesive normothermia solution to help clinicians measure and maintain body temperature throughout a patient’s surgical journey.

Our refreshed brand goes much deeper than just a new logo and brand name. It combines our customer-centric mindset with our deep industry expertise and a commitment to innovation, science and patient outcomes. The products in the 3M Bair Hugger Normothermia System are the same reliable solutions our customers use more than 50,000 times each day, now presented under a single brand name focused on maintaining normothermia, safeguarding outcomes and nurturing the patient experience.

Bair Hugger Multi-Position Blanket Supine Shoulder

New product launch 3M™ Bair Hugger™ Multi-position upper body warming blanket

The 3M™ Bair Hugger™ Multi-position upper body warming blanket, which will be unveiled at this weekend’s ANESTHESIOLOGY® 2016 conference in Chicago, is engineered to address these warming dilemmas with its ability to bend and conform to the patient’s body while providing uniform temperatures to the patient. The blanket is designed to maximize patient coverage with one easy-to-use warming solution. Its unique bendability enables clinicians to adapt the blanket to multiple surgical positions and procedures, to help maintain normothermia.

The multi-position upper body blanket highlights a new air channel design and lower profile, but still includes all the features that customer expect from a Bair Hugger upper body blanket, including integrated tie strips, adhesive strip, attached clear head drape and two resealable hose ports.

Charitable Contribution

And what better way to celebrate these two important launches than by giving back through a charitable contribution?

3M is pleased to announce that we’ll be making a $25,000 donation to the Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Upper Midwest. In addition, 3M is encouraging ANESTHESIOLOGY® 2016 attendees to visit the 3M exhibit (booth #2423) during the show to help us give even more.

Each visitor to the booth will be provided with a small vinyl cling and encouraged to apply it onto a large tracking thermometer. If the thermometer fills with clings by the end of the show, we’ll also be including 250 plush, purple bears along with our cash donation.

We look forward to seeing you at ANESTHESIOLOGY® 2016!

Jul 25, 2016

Researchers add to wealth of evidence supporting 3M™ Bair Hugger™ patient safety

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The 3M™ Bair Hugger™ patient warming system has warmed more than 200 million patients since its launch in 1987, and that number grows by nearly 50,000 patients each day. One reason for the Bair Hugger system’s success is an impressive history of safety and effectiveness.

So when a competitor makes outlandish claims that fly in the face of 28 years of clinical use and a wealth of scientific research (over 170 studies and more than 60 randomized controlled clinical trials document the clinical benefits, efficacy and safety of forced-air warming), we will rely on science to set the record straight.

Researchers John P. Abraham, Ph.D., Professor of Thermal Sciences at the University of St. Thomas, and Jennifer A. Wagner, Ph.D., Prism Environmental Health and Safety Solutions, recently released the results of a study, which found that the Bair Hugger system did not disrupt clean operating room airflow and did not move air from the the floor to the surgical site.  The Bair Hugger Warming System is a safe, effective method to warm your surgical patients. Take a few minutes to review the study overview below. The videos also do an excellent job of depicting the results, and can be viewed here.

Operation Room Air Flow Study with 3M™ Bair Hugger™ Warming System in Simulated Hip Replacement Surgery

John P. Abraham, Ph. D., University of St. Thomas and Jennifer A. Wagner, Ph. D., Prism Environmental Health and Safety Solutions

The Bair Hugger Warming System provides a safe and effective way to maintain normal body temperature during surgery.  When used properly the Bair Hugger Warming System lowers the risk of hypothermia and improves patient recovery and surgery outcomes (i.e. reduces risk of surgical site infection, blood loss and transfusion requirement, prolonged recovery, and fatal heart attack).  A scientific research project was undertaken to assess whether the Bair Hugger System disturbed the clean-air flow in an operating room in the vicinity of a sterile surgical site.  The investigation showed that the Bair Hugger Warming System did not disrupt the normal airflow patterns of an operating room, and did not move air from the floor to the surgical site in a simulated hip replacement procedure.

The investigation had three separate components. One part of the investigation incorporated advanced mathematical calculations based upon the fundamental laws of physics to track the paths of airflow in the operating room. The calculations demonstrated that the air from the Bair Hugger System avoided the surgical site. The air flow that emerged from the Bair Hugger System traveled away from the surgical table and migrated toward the room exhaust vents along with the air beneath the operating table – not toward the surgical site.

A second part of the investigation involved experiments performed in an operating room with flow visualization studies that purposely injected visible fog into multiple locations in the room: 1) behind the anesthesia screen where the Bair Hugger air would exit near the patient’s head; 2) underneath the surgical table; and 3) next to the surgical table, near the surgical team, and near the surgical site. This investigation found that downward clean moving air from ceiling supply ducts in an operating room inhibited air from other sources from intruding into the surgical region. The downward flow of clean air worked irrespective of whether the Bair Hugger Warming System was used or not.

The third part of the investigation included a review of the scientific literature. The best scientific work did not show any causal link between the use of a Bair Hugger Warming System and surgical site infections. Even contrary research, which was largely funded by a competitive company, failed to show any causal link. More than 170 clinical studies have utilized the Bair Hugger system, and studies have demonstrated forced-air warming’s clinical effectiveness. Studies have demonstrated perioperative temperature management with forced-air warming actually reduces the risk of surgical site infections, surgical bleeding3-5 and risk of heart attack6.

The findings of the three components of this investigation mutually reinforce one another. All of these studies showed that the Bair Hugger Warming System is safe when used according to manufacturer directions, providing an effective way to maintain patient temperature.

References:

1. Kurz, A. Sessler, DI. Lenhardt, R. Perioperative Normothermia to Reduce the Incidence of Surgical Wound Infection and Shorten Hospitalization. N Engl J Med. 1996;334:1209-15.

 2. Mahoney, CB. Odom, J. Maintaining intraoperative normothermia: A meta-analysis of outcomes with costs. AANA Journal. 1999;67(2):155-164.

 3. Rajagopalan, S. Mascha, E. Na, J. et. al. The Effects of Mild Perioperative Hypothermia on Blood Loss and Transfusion Requirement. Anesthesiology. Jan 2008;108(1):71-77.

 4. Schmeid H, Kurz A, Sessler DI, Kozek S, Reiter A. Mild hypothermia increases blood loss and transfusion requirements during total hip arthroplasty. Lancet 1996:347(8997):289–92.

 5. Winkler M, Akça O, Birkenberg B, et al. Aggressive warming reduces blood loss during hip arthroplasty. Anesth Analg 2000;91(4):978–84.

 6. Frank SM, Fleisher LA, Breslow MJ, et al. Perioperative maintenance of normothermia reduces the incidence of morbid cardiac events: a randomized clinical trial. JAMA 1997;277:1127–34.

 

Jul 8, 2016

Ask for evidence when determining forced-air patient warming fact from fiction

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Since 1987, the 3M™ Bair Hugger™ patient warming system has maintained a commitment to excellence by focusing on three guiding principles:

  1. Educating clinicians on the benefits of maintaining normothermia and emerging trends/science in the field of temperature management.
  2. Improving our products to continuously reflect customer needs and remain an industry leader in technology advancement.
  3. Supporting key research to advance the science of normothermia maintenance.

These principles are as relevant—if not more so—in today’s healthcare environment, where patient outcomes and clinical value lead the decision-making process. Medical devices are no longer products you sell to doctors or nurses based on “features” alone; they are tools that must contribute to better outcomes while providing an economic benefit worthy of investment.

The patient warming industry is a microcosm of the larger healthcare environment. Competition is growing and new technologies are attempting to gain a foothold in a crowded market. It’s virtually impossible for clinicians to distinguish between fact and fiction as they are bombarded with clever sales tactics and products claiming equal performance at lower cost.

Clinical Evidence is Key

To truly separate clinically supported warming technologies from “me too” imitators, clinicians should demand the clinical evidence supporting a manufacturer’s claims of performance, safety and overall value.

3M’s commitment to the science of temperature management has never been more evident. Recently, the company announced the publication of a robust research compendium highlighting the safety and effectiveness of the Bair Hugger patient warming system. The compilation of over 200 study summaries includes more than 60 randomized controlled trials and covers a wide range of surgeries – including hip, knee, cardiac and abdominal procedures – and reinforces the sheer volume of extensive research supporting the clinical use of the Bair Hugger system.

The compendium features summaries of publications in which the Bair Hugger system was either the subject of (or used during) a clinical research study or investigation. Also included are review articles, case studies and letters to the editor, which introduce relevant information or real-world user experience with the Bair Hugger system.

The compendium was assembled utilizing multiple search engines and five databases, including Medline, Embase, Biosis, Elsevier Biobase and Chemical Abstracts. Many of the included studies measure the performance of the Bair Hugger system against competing technologies, ranging from convection warming to resistive polymer technologies.

To download a digital copy of the Bair Hugger System Research Compendium, Click here.

Download a copy of the 3M Bair Hugger patient warming system research compendium

 

May 19, 2016

The Prevention of Perioperative Hypothermia Toolkit

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The Prevention of Perioperative Hypothermia

Guest blogger: Victoria M. Steelman, PhD, RN, CNOR, FAAN Associate Professor, College of Nursing, The University of Iowa Disclosure: Victoria M. Steelman, PhD, RN, CNOR, FAAN has served as a consultant for 3M and VitaHEAT. This article is sponsored by 3M.

The Prevention of Perioperative Hypothermia Toolkit

I am sometimes asked, “Is perioperative hypothermia really a big deal?” The answer is “yes, it is.” Most patients undergoing surgery will become hypothermia unless we use effective interventions to prevent it.

Why is preventing perioperative hypothermia important?

It is important to prevent perioperative hypothermia because it is associated with negative patient outcomes. Perioperative hypothermia increases:

  • surgical site infection risk,1
  • morbid cardiac events,2
  • blood loss,3,4
  • length of stay in the recovery room,5 and
  • impairment of drug metabolism.5

All of this increases the cost of healthcare.

Why does hypothermia occur?

One common misconception is that perioperative hypothermia is caused by the operating room being cool, and if the room temperature is increased, hypothermia will not occur. This is a myth. Although the room temperature plays a role, anesthesia plays the primary role. General and regional anesthesia impair the normal thermoregulatory responses.6 Upon induction of anesthesia, heat is redistributed from the core to the peripheral tissues, which are much (2-4oC) cooler. This causes the core temperature to drop significantly during the first hour of anesthesia.7 Anesthesia also impairs the body’s ability to respond to cold. Normally, the body would respond to a drop in temperature of 0.4oC. An anesthetized patient does not respond until there is a 4oC drop in core temperature.So, the patient does not produce enough heat to overcome the initial hypothermia.

Will using cotton blankets prevent hypothermia?

Passive warming with blankets retains heat. But, because the anesthetized patient is unable to produce enough heat, retention of heat alone is inadequate. Applying heated cotton blankets is only slightly more effective, and the benefit only lasts 10 minutes.9 In a randomized clinical trial, applying heated cotton blankets failed to prevent hypothermia.10

Will heating insufflation gases for laparoscopy prevent hypothermia?

Another commonly used, ineffective way of preventing hypothermia is heating the carbon dioxide used for insufflation during laparoscopy. A meta-analysis of 16 randomized clinical trials found that heating CO2 gas had no effect on core temperature, and there was no evidence to support the use of heated CO2 gas, with our without humidification, for laparoscopic surgery.11

How can we prevent hypothermia?

Applying heat to actively warm the patient is required to prevent perioperative hypothermia. The most common method of active warming is forced air warming (FAW), which distributes warm air over the skin surface, heating peripheral tissues, and minimizing core-to-periphery temperature gradient. Intraoperative FAW is more effective in maintaining body temperature than cotton blankets,10,12  reflective blankets,12 or thermo-lite® insulation.12,13

What patients should receive active warming?

Patients undergoing surgery that will be at least 30 minutes long, with general or regional anesthesia (spinal, epidural) should be actively warmed.

When should we use active warming?

To be most effective, active warming should be initiated preoperatively for at least 30 minutes and also used intraoperatively. Actively warming the patient preoperatively minimizes heat lost during redistribution of heat from the core to periphery upon induction of anesthesia, and minimizes the incidence of hypothermia.14-16

Why are hospitals not using these evidence-based practices?

Unfortunately, active warming is not always used when needed and is often not used correctly. First, practitioners are not knowledgeable enough about perioperative hypothermia, and do not always consider it a priority. Secondly, they do not understand the importance of prewarming the patient, and often start active warming after induction of anesthesia. Third, there was a quality performance measure that has been retired that required active warming or normothermia. Practitioners were in compliance with the measure even if they used active warming incorrectly, starting it after induction of anesthesia, and the patient became hypothermic.17 Actual evaluation of patient outcomes and reducing the incidence of hypothermia were not emphasized, resulting in a “checklist mentality”. And, lastly, complacency is an incredibly strong force, and a concentrated effort is required to make a change in practice.

How can we get practitioners to use this evidence to prevent perioperative hypothermia?

We need to use a combination of strategies to engage busy professionals and integrate a change into their work processes. For that reason, a team at the University of Iowa developed the Prevention of Perioperative Hypothermia Toolkit©. Use of this toolkit has been tested for the past two years, and refined with lessons learned. The toolkit includes is a list of steps for planning the implementation of changes. The second component is a template for a risk assessment, a Healthcare Failure Mode and Effect Analysis (HFMEA), to identify potential issues that can arise during implementation. The next component is an educational program that can be modified with taped statements of support from key perioperative leaders in the setting. A list of data elements to use for modifying the electronic documentation system is included to allow for the generation of reports. And, there are spreadsheets that can be used as templates for audit and feedback.

The Prevention of Perioperative Hypothermia Toolkit© is available free of charge.

For more information, watch the 3M webinar Strategies for Infusing Evidence-based Practices for Prevention of Perioperative Hypothermia.

The Prevention of Perioperative Hypothermia (PPH) Toolkit was funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, grant 3 IR18HS021422-01A1.

Dr. Steelman has been a perioperative nurse for over 25 years. As a perioperative advanced practice nurse at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, she focused on implementing evidence-based practice changes for 20 years. She is currently Associate Professor in the College of Nursing at the University of Iowa where she teaches graduate students evidence-based practice. Her program of research focuses on perioperative safety and quality. She has extensively published and presented about issues related safe patient care in the operating room, including five research studies focusing on prevention of retained surgical sponges. She is well recognized for her contributions and received AORN’s Outstanding Achievement awards for Research and Evidence-based Practice. In 2008, she received the AORN’s highest award, the Award for Excellence in recognition of her contributions to perioperative nursing. In 2007, she was inducted into the American Academy of Nursing in recognition of the national and global impact of her work. 

REFERENCES

1. Kurz A, Sessler DI, Lenhardt R. Perioperative normothermia to reduce the incidence of surgical-wound infection and shorten hospitalization. Study of Wound Infection and Temperature Group. N Engl J Med. 1996;334:1209-1215.

2. Frank SM, Fleisher LA, Breslow MJ, et al. Perioperative maintenance of normothermia reduces the incidence of morbid cardiac events. A randomized clinical trial. JAMA. 1997;277:1127-1134.

3. Schmied H, Kurz A, Sessler DI, Kozek S, Reiter A. Mild hypothermia increases blood loss and transfusion requirements during total hip arthroplasty. Lancet. 1996;347:289-292.

4. Winkler M, Akca O, Birkenberg B, et al. Aggressive warming reduces blood loss during hip arthroplasty. Anesth Analg. 2000;91:978-984.

5. Lenhardt R, Marker E, Goll V, et al. Mild intraoperative hypothermia prolongs postanesthetic recovery. Anesthesiology. 1997;87:1318-1323.

6. Sessler DI. Temperature monitoring and perioperative thermoregulation. Anesthesiology. 2008;109:318-338.

7. Sessler DI. Perioperative heat balance. Anesthesiology. 2000;92:578-596.

8. Torossian A. Thermal management during anaesthesia and thermoregulation standards for the prevention of inadvertent perioperative hypothermia. Best Pract Res Clin Anaesthesiol. 2008;22:659-668.

9. Sessler DI, Schroeder M. Heat loss in humans covered with cotton hospital blankets. Anesth Analg. 1993;77:73-77.

10. Fossum S, Hays J, Henson MM. A comparison study on the effects of prewarming patients in the outpatient surgery setting. J Perianesth Nurs. 2001;16:187-194.

11. Birch DW, Manouchehri N, Shi X, Hadi G, Karmali S. Heated CO(2) with or without humidification for minimally invasive abdominal surgery. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2011;(1):CD007821.

12. Ng SF, Oo CS, Loh KH, Lim PY, Chan YH, Ong BC. A comparative study of three warming interventions to determine the most effective in maintaining perioperative normothermia. Anesth Analg. 2003;96:171-176.

13. Borms SF, Engelen SL, Himpe DG, Suy MR, Theunissen WJ. Bair hugger forced-air warming maintains normothermia more effectively than thermo-lite insulation. J Clin Anesth. 1994;6:303-307.

14. Andrzejowski J, Hoyle J, Eapen G, Turnbull D. Effect of prewarming on post-induction core temperature and the incidence of inadvertent perioperative hypothermia in patients undergoing general anaesthesia. Br J Anaesth. 2008;101:627-631.

15. Horn EP, Schroeder F, Gottschalk A, et al. Active warming during cesarean delivery. Anesth Analg. 2002;94:409-414.

16. Vanni SM, Braz JR, Modolo NS, Amorim RB, Rodrigues GR,Jr. Preoperative combined with intraoperative skin-surface warming avoids hypothermia caused by general anesthesia and surgery. J Clin Anesth. 2003;15:119-125.

17. Steelman, V. M., Perkhounkova, Y. S., & Lemke, J. H. The gap between compliance with the quality performance measure “Perioperative Temperature Management” and normothermia. J Healthc Qual. 2014 January 13. PMID: 24417607. doi: 10.1111/jhq.12063.

Nov 23, 2015

The Chain of Infection: A Patient Journey

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The Chain of Infection

Passing Thru the Gauntlet of Healthcare Associated Infections

Meet Mary J, an incoming patient. She’s been referred to your hospital because of its reputation as a state-of-the art facility and one that has minimized healthcare-associated infections – HAIs. Mary’s OB/GYN insisted that yours is the best hospital for her to have her surgery. What began as a persistent pain in her pelvic region has been diagnosed as ovarian cancer and a complete hysterectomy has been ordered. The life of this otherwise healthy, 46 year old mother and elementary school teacher has taken a dramatic turn. She must put her care in someone else’s hands, something she’s unaccustomed to doing. With her family and her students relying on her, the last thing Mary needs is to come through the procedure successfully but encounter an HAI. HAIs can be harbored in virtually any place Mary will be transiting.  According to a recent HAI prevalence survey1 administered by the CDC, 1 in 25 hospital patients in the US have experienced at least one HAI. Read how ready this facility is to mitigate and minimize the occurrence of HAIs in its commitment to patient safety.

Arrival – Let the Battle Begin

Hands, the most common source of pathogen transmission, are a critical battleground in the fight to reduce healthcare-associated infections so naturally they are at the center of the challenge. One challenge is that in order for any product to be effective, it would also need to be gentle enough to promote repeated and frequent use. In any hospital, an effective antiseptic hand solution should also be latex glove and Chlorhexidine Gluconate compatible. It should also be dye and fragrance-free and available in versatile and convenient point-of-care locations to promote compliance. Because your hospital has initiated a comprehensive hand hygiene policy using awareness training, products and tools that are effective against infection yet gentle on skin, Mary’s admission will be less of a risk. Your hospital has also incorporated appropriate environmental cleaning programs with detailed instructions to ensure consistent cleaning based on industry standards and best practices. Because of this, Mary’s chance to contract HAIs as she passes through the hallways and contacts various equipment is reduced. The OR has been cleaned and disinfected using a variety of cleaning products and tools including chemical management systems that mix disinfectants and other products in exacting quantities. Additionally, the Infection Preventionist and Environmental Services Manager routinely review a hygiene-management-system sampling plan to validate the cleaning process and address problem areas. In all areas where Mary will pass, particular attention is paid to disinfecting high-touch surfaces. Cleanliness is verified using a hygiene management and testing system that provides real-time results. The analysis confirms that environmental cleanliness is at or above the goal benchmark for frequently touched surfaces – where the risk of cross contamination tends to be the highest. In addition to physical testing, data-driven assessment tools also help provide facilities managers with the ability to track the cost of HAIs to their facilities and justify investments in infection prevention programs.

Pre-op – Even up Your Nose?

As Mary is prepped for her procedure, she is impressed and reassured to see that all personnel who come in contact with her sanitize their hands using an instant hand antiseptic. They are obviously well trained and sanitize their hands without a second thought. She changes into a forced-air warming gown which will keep her warm as she waits prior to surgery, as well as maintain a comfortable body temperature throughout her procedure. Her nurse administers the hospital pre-surgical cleansing policy, which includes nasal antiseptic applied to her intranasal cavity and even an oral rinse – no opportunity for an HAI is left to chance. Mary’s nurse explains that this routine will help minimize the bacteria in her nasal and oral passages, bacteria that could easily spread to her surgical wounds or her airway while she is on the breathing machine. Her skin is prepared for surgery using specially developed 2% chlorhexidine gluconate rinse-free cloths that address multidrug resistant organisms on the skin and are another layer of defense against surgical site infections. Mary is then transported into the operating room. Other members of the surgical team begin to arrive into the OR. The surgical assistant puts on a high fluid-resistant surgical mask, disinfects her hands with an antiseptic hand prep and then gowns up. All surgical tools are effectively monitored using chemical and biological indicators. These indicators serve as release criteria in the Central Sterile Supply Dept. (CSSD). CSSD places chemical indicators into each set before sterilization and then are checked prior to use in the OR to verify sterilization conditions have been met. This last step is adopted by the World Health Organization, Safe Surgeries Check List to indicate that sterilization conditions exist inside the set (http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/10665/44186/2/9789241598590_eng_Checklist.pdf)

The indicators show a “pass”, which means they have met the parameters for sterilization and the instruments are ready. Just before she goes under anesthesia, as part of the patient monitoring process, pre-wired monitoring electrodes are placed on Mary and connected to her monitors. These electrodes use a gentle, conductive adhesive that is repositionable and won’t tear delicate tissues when removed. Mary’s IV  is inserted and secured using a transparent dressing so her IV can be monitored without removing the dressing and exposing the IV site to additional bacteria. Your hospital realizes the importance and cost saving benefits to using dressings that provide superior wear time, gentle removal, and excellent moisture management in the battle against HAIs.

In the OR Zone

While Mary’s forced-air warming gown is keeping her warm before surgery, another warming product will be used during her procedure – a full access underbody blanket. (Recent studies found that underbody blankets delivered significantly warmer patients than resistive warming devices or standard warming therapy).2-5 Maintaining normothermia helps reduce the risk of infections as well as the hospital length of stay. Warmed blood and fluids are also beneficial in an effort to maintain normothermia and they will be administered using a leading blood and fluid warming device. Once Mary is anesthetized, her skin previously clipped of hair, done in periop, is prepared for surgery using an iodine povacrylex and isopropyl alcohol surgical solution, which keeps bacteria counts below baseline for at least 48 hours. During this time, the rest of the surgical team disinfects their hands with an antiseptic hand prep. Mary is then draped using a surgical drape that has an antimicrobial incise film to create a sterile surface. This front-line barrier provides a sterile surface all the way to the wound edge, and provides continuous broad-spectrum antimicrobial activity to further reduce the risk of SSIs and HAIs. Before making any incision, the team conducts a “time out” to make sure they are doing the right operation on the right patient, have all of the appropriate instrumentation present and confirm that the correct pre-surgical protocols have been followed. The team also makes introductions and states the roles they have in the surgery, all part of your hospital’s head- to-toe patient safety attitude. Satisfied that all of the proper procedures have been followed, her gynecologic oncologist initiates the operation. After successfully removing her uterus, fallopian tubes, omentum and ovaries, fluid and tissue samples are collected and sent for testing. Mary’s skin incision is then closed using a disposable skin stapler. Closing the incision this way maintains wound edge apposition, allowing for appropriate edema to occur and facilitate proper healing. The final touch is dressing the incision. Your hospital stocks an all-in-one dressing that is highly conformable; one that flexes with movement and swelling and provides a better exchange of moisture vapor and oxygen to reduce skin maceration. The post-surgical dressing of choice protects the wound while absorbing drainage, all of which promotes healing and greater comfort. At last, Mary is transferred to the recovery room and then the ICU.

Post op Success and New Horizons

As the staff ushers Mary though recovery, a new set of pre-wired monitoring electrodes are placed on her and connected to the patient monitor. Oral care is started with an oral rinse (Chlorhexidine Gluconate 0.12%). This process is done every four hours while Mary is in the Post Anesthesia Recover Unit, or PACU. Because the staff at your hospital had the right processes and products in place, from the surgical prep station to the sterilization room to the OR and onto the ICU, they helped reduce the risk of Mary walking away with a healthcare-associated infection. Why subject patients to needless risk of a HAI when risk can be mitigated?

References:

  1. CDC, Healthcare-associated Infections (HAIs), HAI Prevalence Survey, 2011, http://www.cdc.gov/HAI/surveillance/
  2. Tominaga A., Koitabashi T., et al. Efficacy of an underbody forced-air warming blanket for the prevention of intraoperative hypothermia. Anesth. 2007;107:A91.
  3. Insler SR., et al. An evaluation of a full-access underbody forced-air warming system during near-normothermic, on-pump cardiac surgery. Anesth Analg. 2008. 106(3):746-750.
  4. Teodorczyk JE., et al. Effectiveness of an underbody forced-air blanket in preventing postoperative hypothermia after coronary artery bypass graft surgery with normothermic cardiopulmonary bypass.  Critical Care. 2009. 13(1):P71.
  5. Engelen S, et al. A Comparison of under-body forced-air and resistive heating during hypothermic bypass. ASA Abstract. 2010. A075.
  6. World Health Organization, Health care-associated infections FACT SHEET, http://www.who.int/gpsc/country_work/gpsc_ccisc_fact_sheet_en.pdf