Article Title: Microbiological Contamination of Drugs during Their Administration for Anesthesia in the Operating Room
Date: April 2016
Author: Derryn A. Gargiulo, M.Pharm.Clin., Reg.Pharm.N.Z.; Simon J. Mitchell, Ph.D., F.A.N.Z.C.A.; Janie Sheridan, Ph.D., Reg.Pharm.N.Z., F.R.Pharm.S.; Timothy G. Short, M.B.Ch.B., M.D., F.A.N.Z.C.A.; Simon Swift, Ph.D.; Jane Torrie, M.B.Ch.B., F.A.N.Z.C.A.; Craig S. Webster, Ph.D.; Alan F. Merry, M.B.Ch.B., F.F.P.M.A.N.Z.C.A., F.R.C.A., F.A.N.Z.C.A.
Source: American Society of Anesthesiologists
Summary: This article talks about the frequent lapses in aseptic techniques used in the operating room today, particularly with tools administering drugs to patients. Especially in large, busy hospitals were preoperative environments can get quite hectic, the aseptic techniques can often be overlooked during the sense of urgency to keep the patient on track for their scheduled surgery. This is in contrast with a normal, slower paced clinic setting where the anesthesiologist has ample time to set up equipment and utilize aseptic techniques as well as enough time between patients. The study was done in a major teaching hospital in New Zealand. They were able to obtain pathogenic microbes from 6.3% out of 300 general anesthesia procedures.
Connection: They talk a lot about how they swabbed the syringes and what they did to obtain their samples as well as what they did with them afterwards. They used multiple types of agar plates, included horses blood plates to culture different bacteria. They utilized the quadrant streaks, Gram-stains, and incubation. These are all things that we have done in lab.
Critical Analysis: I found this article very interesting. When we think of post-operative infections we rarely think that the anesthesiologist would play a part in that because they just administer the drugs to keep us asleep. They don’t exactly put their hands inside the patient like the surgeon does.
Question: What steps could be taken in order to ensure that all surgical equipment is suitable for surgery? There is an entire position devoted to sterilizing surgical equipment, but something seems to always slip through the cracks. Most syringes and needles are put into sterile packaging, I wonder if there is something that could be put in the paper of those packages that could potentially kill anything that was not cleared off during sterilization