How Much Do You Know About Sterile Processing?The sterile processing department plays a key role in patient safety. Infection preventionists should not only understand how reusable instruments are cleaned and sterilized, but should actively collaborate with the sterile processing department.
After a hospital in California recently went through a highly publicized outbreak of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, it traced the source back to specialized endoscopes used in a complex procedure meant to examine the liver, bile ducts, and pancreas. Seven patients became ill, two died, and nearly 200 people may have been exposed to this dangerous pathogen, which somehow survived the process of decontamination and sterilization.
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