Risk Management in Medical Surgical Suppliesby Marta Jordan Writer
Advancements made in medical science have saved countless lives throughout human history. However, with any type of surgery comes certain risk, particularly relating to infection. These risks are manageable and can be dealt with effectively with the right medical surgical supplies and devices. With proper care and considerable precautions, a patient will leave surgery healthy and well.
Risk factors relating to infection are inherent when any type of medical procedure is being conducted. As a result, the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council have drafted guidelines designed to minimise this risk to both patients and clinicians.
Procedures are classified on the level of perceived risk; identifying these risks enables healthcare providers to take appropriate measures and make decisions in the best interest of the patient.
Level of Risk: High
Criteria: Surgical entry into tissues, organs/body cavity, or traumatic injury
Example: Abdominal surgery
Level of Risk: Medium
Criteria: Contact with membranes/non-intact skin
Example: Respiratory procedure
Level of Risk: Low
Criteria: Contact with intact skin
Medical surgical supplies and general risk management
Medical surgical supplies are a key site of infection risk and as such, appropriate measures must be taken to reduce this risk. These measures can take the following forms:
Appropriate use of supplies:
The appropriate use of surgical supplies is key in preventing infections and managing risks. Single-use instruments or devices should be used whenever possible. These instruments include needles, catheters, respiratory tubes that cannot be used on more than one occasion. These devices help avoid cross-contamination of bodily fluids significantly reducing the risk of cross-patient contamination.
Use of aseptic techniques:
During invasive procedures, the use of aseptic techniques prevents the transfer of microbes and pathogenic microorganisms. These techniques help clinicians conduct a clean procedure with reduced risk of infection.
Invasive medical supplies and devices
Invasive medical devices are deemed a common source of healthcare associated infections. Such devices typically include:
● Urinary catheters
● Intravascular access catheters
● Devices used for mechanical/aided respiration
● Feeding tubes/devices
Proper strategies must be implemented to strategize the selection and insertion of these invasive devices. Maintenance is equally as important — without it, these devices can become home to germs and microbes that post major infection risk. When utilised, these devices need to be carefully removed to avoid further complications.
Invasive devices are the major cause of health-associated infection, providing a direct pathway for germs and external microorganisms to gain access to the sensitive areas of the body. The use of aseptic methods for insertion and removal can be the difference between a standard recovery time and on-going complications.
Minimising infection risk associated with invasive devices
The following risk management points should be adhered to when working with invasive surgical devices:
● Invasive medical devices should be used only when advised by trusted medical professionals.
● The staff performing the procedure should be well trained and informed of any potential risks. They should also be well equipped to conduct the procedure and to manage any complications that might arise during the procedure.
● The device and the procedure should be selected on a patient-to-patient basis — a device that works for one patient may not work for another.
● Invasive devices should be constantly monitored by a trained professional.
● If the patient no longer requires the device, it should be taken out to minimize the risk of infection.
● The patient and their family should be informed beforehand of the invasive procedure, the pre-op and post-op care, and the risks it bears. They should not be left in the dark.
● Infection rates relating to certain devices should be monitored and discussed by healthcare professionals.
What can be done to minimise the risk of infection?
Fortunately, there are a set of easy steps that healthcare workers can be followed to minimise the risk of infection:
● Practise good hand hygiene: According to the World Health Organisation, hand hygiene should be practised at five crucial points prior to engaging with a patient: before touching the patient, before performing a procedure, after performing a procedure, after touching a patient, and after touching the environment around a patient.
●Wearing protective personal equipment (PPE): Wearing appropriate PPE at all times can significantly reduce the risk of infection — gloves, in particular, should be worn whenever working with medical surgical supplies.
● Disinfecting the environment: Following strict disinfection guidelines pertaining to surfaces, equipment, and supplies is essential to reduce the risk of infection.
Surgical procedures of today are much more advanced than what previously could have been imagined, However, basic precautions are still very critical in order to avoid post-operative infections. Sterilised equipment is key to avoiding infections, as is choosing the correct medical surgical supplies for the procedure.
Created on Apr 27th 2021 04:17. Viewed 401 times.
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