When visiting a healthcare facility one usually trusts the healthcare professionals to care for them to the best of their ability. You may not consider the fact that even though they are professionals, they still can make human mistakes. These mistakes, if not carefully monitored and fixed can lead to a severe risk of infection. Let’s take a look at some of the more common mistakes, and some ways to prevent them in the future.
The first mistake, exposing a patient to an unknown infection, is one of the most common errors healthcare workers make. Hospital Acquired Infections occur more often than many people expect. They can happen because of overcrowded hospitals, improperly disinfected equipment, or other poor infection control habits. These infections lengthen the duration of hospital stays and can end with the patient dying. The best way to prevent HAI’s is by promoting proper handwashing techniques, adequately disinfecting the areas, and wearing appropriate PPE at all times.
The second mistake, not allowing proper disinfectant dwell time, builds on the first situation. For surface disinfectants to live up to their kill claims, they must remain wet on a surface for an extended period. For example, Safetec’s SaniZide Pro wipes have a low dwell time of two minutes. This disinfectant will have achieved its kill claim after dwelling for two minutes, but if you let the disinfectant dry before time is up, it will not be as effective. To prevent this health care professionals must read all labels and follow the appropriate proceedings.
The third, improper use and disposal of needles, can also assist the spread of bloodborne pathogens. A needle is meant to be a single-use device, but sometimes sanitation workers use them again to try to reduce cost. This practice needs to stop immediately because it is impossible to thoroughly disinfect a needle. If needles are reused the risk of contracting HIV, and other bloodborne pathogens rise exponentially.
Please stay tuned for our next post, which will cover the other two top infection control mistakes.