Q&A: When is a single use syringe considered used?

Q:  You will think I am a complete idiot but please explain when is a single use syringe considered used? I need to explain to my practice manager why I can’t re-use a syringe while reconstituting a powdered medication for injection. My practice manager is complaining that I am using too many syringes and needles which…

Why do nurses use the same alcohol swab over and over?

I know, this may come as a surprise to all of you, but the truth is, I have seen many nurses (even those highly trained and specialized) both in hospitals and outpatient settings, use the same alcohol swab over and over. Imagine this scenario where a nurse is ready to withdraw medication from several vials.…

Infection from an IV catheter…

can lead to a lawsuit!! Yes, according to a news article, a medical malpractice lawsuit filed late last month accuses nurses and health care providers of negligence by giving the patient “an IV tainted with streptococcus pyogenes” — bacteria commonly associated with strep throat. Click here for more info. The harm – following the removal of…

In case you missed it….

…some latest news and initiatives on infection prevention and safety….. “Preventing Infections in Cancer Patients” – CDC is launching a new program called Preventing Infections in Cancer Patients, featuring tools to help both clinicians and patients prevent infections. CDC worked with partners to develop a Basic Infection Control and Prevention Plan for Outpatient Oncology Settings, which…

Let’s talk about vials…

One of the FAQ I get is this…. Q:  Should you or should you not clean the top of vials after you just removed the protective lid? A:  Yes, clean(wipe) the vial diaphragm even if you just flipped the lid off is the answer I give. Then I get this “deer in the headlight” look.…

CDC Guide for Infection Prevention for Outpatient Settings

In response to a question from a former ER nurse who now works for a physician office providing infusion services, I came upon this guide from the CDC. The question is why should infection control practices in a physician’s office differ from those in the hospital? In particular, this nurse was appalled that the physician…

Do you scrub or wipe???

Scrub….don’t wipe!!! According to the 2011 CDC guidelines section on “needleless intravascular catheter systems” statement #4 : “Minimize contamination risk by scrubbing the access port with an appropriate antiseptic (chlorhexidine, povidone iodine, an iodophor, or 70% alcohol) and accessing the port only with sterile devices. Category 1A”  This is an update to their 2002 guidelines…