There are few jobs where exposure to com- monly encountered fluids can result in exten- sive testing and legal follow up. Then again,
surgical teams are unique in many ways, but that’s
why it’s important each facility develops a seamless
approach to fluid disposal to minimize risk.
These systems need to be efficient during and after
the surgical procedure, and effective so the surgery
isn’t delayed by malfunctioning equipment or hazardous spills during clean up, said Dr. Douglas J.
E. Schuerer, FACS, trauma surgeon at Washington
University School of Medicine. While there’s nothing
exciting about getting rid of bodily fluids and other
waste, he says the system they have is effective and
does what it needs to do. “The fluids are disposed of
in a pretty straight forward way,” he observed.
It doesn’t matter how it’s done, as long as the fluid is
removed and efficiently disposed of so staff can move
onto the next case, he said.
Compared to 30 years ago, the approach to fluid disposal has changed a lot, reflected Candace Samudio,
MBA, BSN, RN, CNOR, CLNC, manager of clinical
excellence at Zimmer Surgical. The goal has always been
to be efficient without spilling or creating a mess, she
said, but concepts like blood borne diseases and environ-
Determining Factors: Cost, Efficiency
Changes in fluid disposal methods reflect industry demands
by Rebecca Rudolph, editor
mental stewardship are new influencers.
“A growing number of healthcare facilities are adopting
fluid management systems as a best practice to reduce the
amount of hazardous waste sent to incinerators and land-fills in their communities,” she elaborated.
This might be discussed and implemented, but only
if it makes sense with a more important factor in mind
- cost, Terri Clouse, RN, CNOR, clinical consultant for
Bemis, added; this includes the cost of equipment and
While OR turnaround times vary at each facility, she
said when she was a nurse, her team would try to have
the room ready for the next procedure in less than 10
minutes. Being prepared was one piece of this quick
exchange, but being able to remove fluids right away was
key, she explained. “That fluid has to be removed from
the OR before you can begin set up for the next case,
because that’s considered contaminated,” she elaborated.
As a facility chooses its fluid disposal methods, it’ll think
about the surgeries its team perform, as well as its budget,
Clouse explained. In the end, the system has to work well
and help staff meet their turnover goals, she said. That’s
why suppliers put so much time in to developing products
that work the way they’re supposed to every time they’re
used, she concluded.
Contact your Zimmer representative or visit: www.ORFluid Waste.Zimmer.com
Convenient, nurse-designed system
Easy-to-use disposable manifolds
Replaces multiple disposable canisters and gelling agents
On-board regulated suction
© 2015 Zimmer Surgical, Inc.
Reusable reservoirs reduce red bag waste cost by up to 70%
Applies EPA-approved disinfectant during the cleaning process
Class-leading fluid capacity
Flexible docking station