An observational study by Sahlgrenska Academy researchers at a large Swedish hospital found 2,393 opportunities for hand disinfection and/or aseptic techniques. Doctors and nurses missed 90% of the opportunities.
A new study at Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, is attracting a great deal of attention in the healthcare and research community. The study shows that the use of hand disinfection and aseptic techniques during risk-prone invasive procedures is very low.
Performed at a large Swedish hospital, the study is the first of its kind in northern Europe. Direct observations were made of risk-prone invasive procedures in connection with intubation and local anesthesia, as well as insertion of catheters in the bloodstream and urinary tract.
Caregivers failed to avail themselves of more than 90% of the opportunities for using alcohol-based hand rub and aseptic techniques.
"An operating room is radically different from other clinical settings in that anesthesia-related tasks are so frequent," says Dr. Anette Erichsen Andersson, a researcher at Sahlgrenska Academy. "We counted an average of 30 opportunities, many of which were missed, for aseptic techniques every 24 minutes."
Risk of infections
Problems with aseptic techniques and insufficient teamwork led to a substantial increase in situations where hand disinfection should have been used. The results also demonstrate that protective gloves are worn in an unsystematic manner that heightens the risk of hospital-acquired infections.
"Gloves often take the place of hand disinfection and are reused for a number of different tasks," Dr. Andersson says. "Bacteria may be transmitted from the airways to the bloodstream as a result, increasing the risk of infection."
The underlying reason unknown
The study did not examine the underlying reasons for inadequate use of aseptic techniques. One explanation may be that neither hygiene nor prevention of infection is a mandatory subject at medical school or during specialist training for doctors and nurses.
"There is little doubt that all doctors and nurses are familiar with the benefits of hand rub," Dr. Andersson says. “But simply possessing that knowledge is not good enough in the demanding setting of an operating room whose interdisciplinary teams rarely if ever have the chance to practice new working methods together, either in training or clinical situations.
"Awareness that you need to employ aseptic techniques must be supplemented by specific skills that work under complex, risky circumstances. The potential for interdisciplinary learning is enormous, and additional research is needed to maximize the prospects for safe, aseptic care in the operating room.”
The observations were not made during emergency surgery.
The article "Hygiene and Aseptic Techniques during Routine Anesthetic Care—Observations in the Operating Room" appeared in Antimicrobial Resistance and Infection Control in March.
Feel free to contact:
Annette Erichsen Andersson, RN, PhD, Research Fellow at the Institute of Health and Care Sciences, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg
Phone: +46 737 25 04 58
FACTS ABOUT ASEPTIC TECHNIQUES
The purpose of aseptic techniques is to keep medical instruments clean and/or sterile. The goal is to minimize the number of bacteria when inserting peripheral venous or arterial catheters and performing other invasive procedures in order to reduce the risk of infection. Doctors and nurses who disinfect their hands before and after each task also reduce the risk of hospital-acquired infections due to microorganisms and resistant bacteria.
Henrik Axlid | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft
Smart Data Transformation – Surfing the Big Wave
02.12.2016 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Informationstechnik FIT
Climate change could outpace EPA Lake Champlain protections
18.11.2016 | University of Vermont
Physicists of the University of Würzburg have made an astonishing discovery in a specific type of topological insulators. The effect is due to the structure of the materials used. The researchers have now published their work in the journal Science.
Topological insulators are currently the hot topic in physics according to the newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Only a few weeks ago, their importance was...
In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.
Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...
Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
09.12.2016 | Life Sciences
09.12.2016 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation
09.12.2016 | Health and Medicine