Archive October 2019 XX, No. 10

Ideas That Work: Fire Safety

Toss Out Flammable Prepping Supplies

Trammele Penn
TAKING OUT THE TRASH Fill a clear plastic bag with used prepping materials and place it in the hall before cases begin.

The Joint Commission and the National Fire Protection Association guidelines say flammable preps must be allowed enough time to dry after application, pooled solution must be wiped away, and application supplies and leftover solution must be removed from the OR before procedures begin. We heard rumblings that the Joint Commission was dinging facilities for failing to toss out used prepping supplies, so our staff members who apply alcohol-based preps now toss the applicators, remaining solution and towels used to sop up pooling solution into a clear plastic trash bag set up next to the OR table. The circulating nurse then ties up the bag and places it in the hall, where a member of the environmental services team comes by to scoop it up. The surgical team discusses fire safety during the pre-op time and confirms that the bag containing the prepping supplies had been placed in the hallway.

Barney Clark, BSN, RN, CNOR
McClellan Memorial
VA Medical Center
Little Rock, Ark.

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