personal protective equipment (PPE) for safe handling and disposal. KemSure Spill Control Kits are for use with glutaraldehyde, OPA, OPA-C and formaldehyde, and are available in packaging choice of pail or tote for storage convenience.

However, over the years, as other chemicals have come to market and more data has become available it has become apparent that all sterilants and high-level disinfec- tants must be utilized with proper policies and procedures in place involving safety, handling, documentation and regulatory compliance. This often includes personal exposure monitoring for OSHA and Joint Commission compliance, as well as emer- gency action plans pertaining to leaks, spills and evacuation procedures.”

Ship and store safely KemSure Spill Control Kit

Behn-Gartland adds that disinfectant and sterilant manufacturers are available to help with staff education around their products, stating: “Manufacturers are more than happy to take the time to in-service and answer questions to ensure that chemicals are being correctly used. A mere deviance of a label can result in patient harm; not allowing correct exposure time, not knowing when to test a product or not mixing correctly. It is the responsibility of CS/SPD to guard each pa- tient and protect him or her from exposure to extremely dangerous and growing pathogens that are present in healthcare.”

Because all liquid glutaraldehydes/steril- ants must be tested before use in order to make sure the chemical is at the proper con- centration in order to kill pathogens, Micro Scientific’s glutaraldehyde, Micro-Cide 128 HLD (MC28-04-128), now has its own test strip, Micro-MEC 1.8%(M60054).

Because some disinfectants and sterilants can be heat or cold sensitive, with extreme temperatures impacting their efficacy, healthcare organizations must also educate their staff members on storage and transport. But what is outside of a healthcare facility’s control is what happens to disinfectants and sterilants outside of its four walls, including how they are warehoused and transported to the location for use. That is why solutions for testing product efficacy are important tools, explains Susan Hapak, AB, MBA, President/ Owner of Current Tech- nologies. “Bleach-based dis- infectants may lose ef- fectiveness if exposed to high temperatures, which is an issue if the product sits on a hot semi-trailer during sum- mer,” said Hapak. “Con-


Technologies’ Bleach-Rite Test Strips

Micro Scientific's Micro-Cide 128 HLD (MC28-04-128)

Don’t single out solutions

Sabrosky points out that while particular disinfectants and sterilants, such as ethylene oxide, have been singled out for the potential dangers they pose, healthcare organizations must treat all products in this category with care, stating:

“Ethylene oxide is a highly effective method of low-temperature sterilization but it once lost favor as a preferred method of sterilization because of what some consid- ered onerous safety and regulatory issues. In a rush to replace ethylene oxide, various sterilants and high-level disinfectants were marketed as more benign substances that did not require safety and monitoring diligence.

versely, hydrogen peroxide disinfectants lose effectiveness in freezing temperatures, so shipping during winter can be problematic. Most disinfectants specify storage at room temperature (55 to 85 degrees), yet non- conditioned warehouses can be outside that range. To ensure safety, CS/SPD can periodi- cally test the efficacy of disinfectants (upon arrival and throughout shelf life) to confirm that shipping/storage has no adverse ef- fects. Our company, Current Technologies, makes an easy-to-use test strip for bleach disinfectants, which determines if the bleach in a bottle or wipe is at the correct strength to kill germs.” Current Technologies’ Bleach-Rite Test Strips help determine if a bleach solution is at disinfection strength. To check efficacy, the user dips the test strip in the bleach solu- tion, waits 60 seconds and then compares it to a color chart. If the color is dark enough it indicates that the bleach strength is at or above .525 percent (or 5250 ppm, the 1:10 dilution recommended by CDC and OSHA). If the color is not


dark enough the bleach solution is not strong enough to disinfect and should be discarded. Bleach-Rite Test Strips can test the strength of numerous brands of bleach disinfectants in varied packaging, including spray bottles and canisters of wipes. They are patented and made in U.S. by a certified, woman-owned small business.

Additional considerations While there are general guidelines and regu- lations around disinfectant and sterilant use in healthcare facilities, many complex and high-risk devices require additional consid- eration and processes to ensure microbes are eradicated and patients remain safe.

Ultrasound probes Studies have shown how internal probes carry significant risk for cross-contamination between patients even when they are used with disposable covers.3

Even with low-level

disinfection performed between use, probes can carry infectious organisms, as evidenced by a study of vaginal ultrasound probes, which found “a considerable number” of en- dovaginal ultrasound probes contaminated with Human Papillomavirus (HR-HPV) after low-level disinfection.4

Global guidelines

now recommend high-level disinfection be performed on ultrasound probes between patient use.5

Nanosonics’ trophon2 High Level Disinfection System

Ken Shaw, President of North America for Nanosonics, offers the following advice when selecting an infection prevention solution for ultrasound probes: “It’s important to consider the effectiveness of the technology and its ability to reduce risks of cross infection, as well as safety,” said Shaw. “Equally as important is its environ- mental impact. Additionally, a system that can be used at the point of care, versus limited to the CS/SPD, is an important consideration. Having a high level disinfection (HLD) device for ultrasound probe decontamina- tion at the bedside significantly maximizes workflow and infection prevention standard operating procedures (SOP). It’s critical that it helps ensure compliance with the latest guidelines and is simple to use, thus encour- aging consistent best practices. Automatic traceability for digital disinfection records and IT integration is important, and a system that prevents ex- posure to hazard- ous chemicals is essential.” Nanosonics re- cently announced trophon2 HLD for ultrasound probe decontamination in North America. The device offers

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