Each year, there are about 220,000 hospital-acquired infections in Canada. These infections can lead to a variety of symptoms, serious complications, patient re-admissions and harm. October’s featured alerts focus on sharing and learning about infection prevention and control strategies from three contributing organizations to Global Patient Safety Alerts.
The Joint Commission in the United States provides recommendations on actions to reduce the risk of patients acquiring an infection in healthcare settings. These recommendations include revising hand washing procedures, complying with guidelines, instituting tracking systems and switching to the use of single use IV flush vials.
This safety notice from the South Wales Department of Health in Australia describes the elevated risk of exposure to Creutzfeldt-Jacob Disease (CJD) via contaminated general surgical instruments when these instruments aren’t clearly identified and restricted to use on procedures involving high risk tissue. Recommendations include the establishment of a tracking system as a way of segregating these instruments from other surgical instruments during the reprocessing stage.
The NHS identified a potential risk of cross-contamination via hospital cleaning materials and equipment. This safer practice notice describes the National Colour Coding Scheme for cleaning materials as a standardization strategy for infection prevention and control.