Tomi Karvo: We see more need
for intelligent and safe liquid
handling in the operating room
today than ever before. I have interviewed nurses and hospital staff
in the U.S. and Europe, and see a
greater focus on requirements for
hygienic and error-free transfer
of liquid during and after surgical
The technology that is used in
surgery – when compared with,
say 15 years ago – is truly miracu-
lous, but the general consensus is
that the liquid-handling methods
used in OR practice today is somehow stuck in the past. We
think that this year’s AORN show was actually a watershed
moment for liquid handling, as more conversations surround-
ed the need for new systems.
Whether the conversation turned from routine procedures
in the OR to the need to prevent potential pandemic from,
say, Ebola infections, the tenor of the conversation was one of
practicality: the basic needs of OR workers are still rooted in
elemental preservation of a clean, infection-free theatre. Safety
and efficiency are, still, the actual business of OR workers,
and we have seen a greater shift toward creating the OR of the
future around these foundational principles.
Candace L. Samudio: Hospital acquired infections are a constant
concern. They harm both the patient and/or the staff member who
was exposed. They also have a very negative financial impact on
the hospital. How often are we asked if we are doing everything we
can to protect our patients, and ourselves as healthcare workers,
from the hazards of a hospital acquired infection?
One area where technology is rapidly advancing is in the
collection and disposal of infectious fluid waste from the
OR. But, as technology continues
to advance, we must make sure
our requirements for safety keep
pace. Potentially infectious fluid
waste is one of the most challeng-
ing hazards in our job, every day.
The dangerous days of pouring
open canisters into the hopper
are numbered (thankfully!), so we
must find safe ways to collect and
dispose of infectious fluid waste
from the OR.
The closed, cart-based fluid
collection systems offer a safe
approach to fluid collection and
disposal. However, how many
times have you docked your cart
to clean it, but when processing is complete it still comes
back with a smell? Odor from the cart is an indication that it
has not been properly cleaned on the inside, and potentially
infectious material has taken up residence inside the cart.
It is possible to neutralize this issue when a robust cleaning process is applied inside of the cart. Is a disinfectant, like
bleach, applied to the inside of the cart? After cleaning, can
manifolds be recycled or do you have to pay to dispose of
them in red bag trash? Get these questions answered so you
have peace of mind for you, your patients, and the entire staff.
Cutting corners when disposing of potentially infectious
waste is not a recommended practice. We are constantly
looking to reduce OR time and increase turnover efficiency.
But, the handling of potentially infectious fluid waste is a task
where cutting time increases the risk for exposure. Until we
are doing everything we can to protect our patients, ourselves,
and our staff, short cuts must be avoided! It is easy to focus
only on the collection of the infectious waste, but the disposal
of it matters just as much.
Fluid Management: Keeping It
Safe, Quick and Clean
Industry leaders weigh in on best practices for managing fluid collection and disposal
in helping improve OR efficiency and infection control procedures.
What are some best practices that can help improve safety, infection control and efficiency when dealing with exposure to the fluids associated with the surgical environment?
Candace L. Samudio,
MBA, BSN, RN, CNOR,
Team, Surgical Division,
Head of Hospital