Q: T&A's, myringotomies, PET insertions and removals

What is your position as an ICP on opening up multiple procedures such as T&A's, myringotomies, PET insertions and removals, etc. at one time onto the same back table at one time and then using the same back table on multiple patients? Each subsequent case is then set up on a different mayo stand, but all are opened on the same back table which is present through out the entire line up of patients that are coming in and out of the OR.


1. Doesn't seem like a very good practice to me. What if you contaminate something on the back table, you have to waste all that stuff. And if you don't realize you did, you have the possibility of spreading something among the patients.


How can they prevent cross contamination of the open covered trays? - I would think that this method is not acceptable under the AORN Standards - I do not have a copy of the AORN recevised practices - but I have ordered it- I can review the recommendations when I receive it.

2. Goes against AORN standards. Major risk of contamination. Our policies are that a table cannot be set up more than one hour to a case and must be attended after opening to ensure it is not contaminated. We never open more than one case at a time.

Carol Spence
Infection Control/Associate Health Coordinator
Christus/St. Patrick Hospital
Lake Charles, La.

3.This is not an acceptable Clinical Nursing Practice. Refer to the AORN Standards and Recommended Practices. You may also contact the Centers for Nursing Practice at AORN HQ's(1-800-755-2676). Ramona Conner is one of my favorite Clinical Nursing experts. I believe her Ext. is 264.

Jane Alcock

Q: Benchmark for SSI's with other facilities.

I'm being asked to benchmark for SSI's with other facilities. Note we do not do open hearts, organ transplants and such. My rate for last year was 0.50%. The formula that I use is # of SSI /total # of surgeries X 100 cases. We average 100-150 cases per month and completed 1438 cases (both inpatient and outpatient) last year. All cases reviewed last year were wound classification I or II. I don't think we're too bad, but of course our MD's want to know what everyone else is doing, especially since our rate went up slightly last year.

It's impossible to look at the NNIS data, because their data is collected so differently from mine. I don't see enough to break them up into operative procedure categories. I'd like to compare apples with apples, if anyone else is willing to share their data. Of course everything would be kept in strictest confidence, but I'll have to have a report ready for next week. Thanks!!!

Susan B. Waguespack, RN, BSN, CIC
Infection Control/Employee Health Nurse
St. Elizabeth Hospital
1125 West Highway 30
Gonzales, La 70737
Ph: (225) 647-5011

[email protected]

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