Archives for October 2013

Hospital Sterility: Cause for Concern

Hospital’s aseptic practices don’t even cover the basics

Center for Disease Control (CDC) statistics show a significant increase in nosocomial infections, which are infections acquired during a hospitalization. (1) William Jarvis, M.D., acting director of the Center For Disease Control hospital infections program, reported that hospital- acquired infections cost 90,000 lives and $4.5 billion a year. Why does this happen in the United States, which has a hospital system armed with advanced technology and wonder drugs for fighting infections?

Breaks in Aseptic Technique Require Review of OR Basics

As an infection preventionist, do you know what’s happening in your hospital’s operating rooms (ORs) related to infection prevention and control practices? To get an idea of how well recommended practices are being implemented in the surgical suites across the U.S., ICT conducted an opinion poll of OR nurses to gather their opinions on a number of issues related to infection prevention and control.

Wound Inspection and Aseptic techniques in Wound Care.

Wounds that need to be dressed using an aseptic technique are deep wounds that involve muscle and/or bone, and post-operative wounds. The aim of an aseptic technique is to prevent secondary infection of the wound during the dressing.

Sanotracin RTU


Control of the aseptic processing environment.

Methods used by industry with applications to hospital pharmacy for maintaining an aseptic environment in production of sterile pharmaceutical products are discussed. A major source of product contamination is airborne microorganisms. The laminar-airflow workbench with a high-efficiency particulate air filter provides an ultraclean environment for preparation of sterile products. However, the workbench does not guarantee sterility of products and is not effective if not properly installed and maintained or if the operator uses poor aseptic technique. The laminar-airflow workbench should be tested for leaks, airflow velocity, and airflow patterns when installed, and the workbench should be checked periodically thereafter. The workbench should be placed in a cleanroom where traffic and air disturbances that might affect the laminar airflow are eliminated. A major source of airborne microbial contamination in cleanrooms is people. Personnel movement through an area and presence of personnel without lint-free, nonshedding protective garments increase the levels of microbial contaminants in an area. The transport of nonsterile products (bottles, boxes, paper products) into a cleanroom should be minimized. The cleanroom itself should be sanitized and should be immaculate.

Evaluation of disinfecting procedures for aseptic transfer in hospital pharmacy departments.

Current practice in National Health Service (NHS) hospitals employs 70% Industrial Methylated Spirit spray for surface disinfection of components required in Grade A pharmaceutical environments. This study seeks to investigate other agents and procedures that may provide more effective sanitisation. Several methods are available to test the efficacy of disinfectants against vegetative organisms. However, no methods currently available test the efficacy of disinfectants against spores on the hard surfaces encountered in the pharmacy aseptic processing environment. Therefore, a method has been developed to test the efficacy of disinfectants against spores, modified from British Standard 13697 and Association of Analytical Chemists standards. The testing procedure was used to evaluate alternative biocides and disinfection methods for transferring components into hospital pharmacy cleanrooms, and to determine which combinations of biocide and application method have the greatest efficacy against spores of Bacillus subtilis subspecies subtilis 168, Bacillus subtilis American Type Culture Collection (ATCC) 6633, and Bacillus pumilis ATCC 27142. Stainless steel carrier test plates were used to represent the hard surfaces in hospital pharmacy cleanrooms. Plates were inoculated with 10(7)-10(8) colony-forming units per milliliter (CFU/mL) and treated with the various biocide formulations, using different disinfection methods. Sporicidal activity was calculated as log reduction in CFU. Of the biocides tested, 6% hydrogen peroxide and a quaternary ammonium compound/chlorine dioxide combination were most effective compared to a Quat/biguanide, amphoteric surfactant, 70% v/v ethanol in deionised water and isopropyl alcohol in water for injection. Of the different application methods tested, spraying followed by wiping was the most effective, followed closely by wiping alone. Spraying alone was least effective.

Methods Manual – Applied Microbiology

Bacteria live in our soil, streams, food, in us, and in virtually all habitable (and some seemingly inhabitable) locations on earth. They can make us wine, yogurt, and garden compost, and without them we couldn’t even digest our food. All nitrogen would eventually be lost to the atmosphere without them. Bacteria are increasingly used as research tools and in biotechnology, supplying us with recombinant DNA, enzymes, and designer drugs. We are even increasingly using them to rid ourselves of toxic wastes

Research Article: Antiseptic and Aseptic Techniques Are Developed

The development of antiseptic and aseptic techniques had a dramatic impact on the health and life of those living in the late-nineteenth century. Essentially, these techniques combat the growth and transmission of harmful organisms. Antisepsis, meaning the topical destruction of bacteria, was developed as an offshoot of French bacteriologist Louis Pasteur’s germ theory. Asepsis, meaning the absence of harmful organisms, was a later refinement of antisepsis and led to the development of modern surgery. Both techniques vastly reduced infection rates and, therefore, increased survivability from trauma or disease. Antisepsis and asepsis influenced industry and accompanied cultural changes during the latter Victorian period and into the Industrial Revolution.

How to Enjoy Being a Pharmacy Tech

Being a pharmacy technician can be difficult and stressful but with the proper attitude and actions it can be as enjoyable a job as any. These steps should help any retail pharmacy technician learn to look forward to going to work.

Spread the Word: Aseptic Technique Prevents Infection

As pharmacists and technicians, we are an integral part of the delivery of health care to patients in a variety of practice settings. One of the most important changes that we can actively contribute to is the “Targeting Zero” initiative, created by the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) to prevent the most common and fatal healthcare-associated infections (HAIs).1
HAIs in US hospitals account for an estimated two million infections and 90,000 deaths annually with an estimated cost of $20 billion.2 This is equivalent to a Boeing 747 crashing every day of the year. The CDC estimates the most common HAIs are urinary tract infections (32%), surgical site infections (22%), pneumonias (15%), and bloodstream infections (BSIs) (14%).1 Each year, an estimated 250,000 cases of central line-associated (i.e., central venous catheter-associated) BSIs occur in hospitals in the United States, with an estimated attributable mortality of 12% to 25% for each infection. The marginal cost to the health care system is approximately $25,000 per episode.2