A New Beginning.
A new year, a new beginning, new resolutions, new goals, new horizon, new challenges. Anesthesia Hygiene looks forward to an engaging 2015. Hygiene in anesthesia environment continues to be a challenge. Infection control in anesthesiology environment receives a disproportionately lower level of importance compared to all other aspects of patient care.
This aspect is strange. The technology available to anesthesiologists today is unparalleled. Anesthesiologists can monitor heart rate, blood pressure and oxygen levels in the blood on a second to second basis. They can also monitor oxygen administered, carbon dioxide exhaled from the patient on a breath to breath basis. Such technology is not readily available for other healthcare professionals in the hospital.
In this technological background, hygiene and cleanliness in anesthesia environment should never be in doubt. Anesthesiology works in close coordination with surgery. Sterilization of surgical equipment, clean gloves, clean gowns and clean surgical field is never in doubt. However the evidences published in literature about Infection Control in Anesthesiology is startling. Contaminated Anesthesia Machines, Poor hand hygiene practices by anesthesia providers have been shown in studies as important and detrimental to patient outcomes.
To address contaminated Anesthesia Machines, Anesthesia Hygiene is engaging in a two step process. First Anesthesia Hygiene Challenge is a process where Anesthesia Machines are tested for levels of cleanliness. This visual educational process allows anesthesia departments to quantitate and measure objectively what is currently assumed- “Our anesthesia machine is Clean”. The second step is providing custom designed barriers- Anesthesia Hygiene Organizer- A simple barrier to protect anesthesia machines and allow organization of Anesthesia WorkSpace.
Technological advancements in any field of medicine makes the impossible possible. Basic hygiene cannot be neglected. Much of the advancement of human race would not have been possible without cleanliness and Hygiene in Anesthesia is no different.