In coat instruments before they are packaged. Another

this paper the author will discuss different scenarios in the sterile
processing lab in which deficiencies and poor job performance can cause harm or
death to patients. Around 70,000 deaths occur every year from infections contracted
by patients during their stay in the hospital.


            In the sterile processing lab great
lengths are taken to ensure all instruments that leave the lab are sterile and
ready for use. However, let’s assume there is an overwhelmed employee who is
constantly running behind and has come under fire for being too slow. In
reality the hospital is undermanned but this employee feels his job is in jeopardy
so he begins to take short cuts. Examples of these short cuts could be not
examining equipment properly for Bio Burden or not allowing instruments to
receive enough drying time. So due to these short cuts equipment is going into
the OR that is not sterile. As a result, patients are at a higher risk of catching
an infection in the hospital. Infections can range from UTI’s and skin rashes
to several antibiotic resistant infections that can cause death. This example
could be prevented by proper manning and personnel management. Hospitals administrators
must insure that departments are properly manned and equipped.

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The next example involves poorly
maintained sterile processing areas and equipment. This example includes proper
housekeeping. For example, if the area is not regularly wiped and mopped it quickly
becomes unsanitary. Imagine a clean side that is covered in dust particles that
dust could easily begin to coat instruments before they are packaged. Another
example would be not running the proper test on equipment to ensure its running
properly. The Dart and Bowie test are one example another would be a faulty
water purification system. When proper maintenance isn’t completed it can
result in the proper parameters not being met to ensure items are properly
cleaned and sterilized.


            In closing we must all realize that
the simplest oversight or perceived shortcut can and will cause either harm or
death to patients. I leave you with an old saying from Benjamin Franklyn “For the want of a nail the shoe was lost, or
the want of a shoe the horse was lost, For the want of a horse the rider was
lost, For the want of a rider the battle was lost, For the want of a battle the
kingdom was lost, And all for the want of a horseshoe-nail.”