DEVICE SAFETY: Cover up and clean up to prevent deadly infections

January 2005 
Volume 35  Number 1
Pages 31 - 31
  PDF Version Available!



    PHYSICAL THERAPISTS cleaned patients' wounds with a pulsatile lavage with suction (PLWS) wound debridement system. Subsequently, several of these patients developed serious Acinetobacter infections that were resistant to multiple drugs, and some patients died.

    What went wrong: These PLWS devices use pressure-pulsed irrigation and suction to clean wounds. According to one study, the devices can scatter infectious agents up to 8 feet. These physical therapists didn't follow standard precautions, use personal protective equipment, or clean the treatment room between PLWS-treated patients.

    Taking precautions: Make sure that all health care workers follow these rules when using PLWS devices.

    PLWS device use and maintenance:

    * Become familiar with all device instructions for use and optimal techniques to minimize contamination of the environment.

    * Use continuous suction (one device manufacturer ...

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