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Are Your Barrier Protection Products Safe?

For as long as a decade, Kimberly-Clark's barrier protection products didn't meet quality standards, according to depositions given by former employees as part of a lawsuit against K-C that calls into question whether K-C's drapes, exam gloves, sterile wraps and Level 4 surgical gowns protected healthcare workers and patients as they should have.

Rashel Campos, RN, of the Bahamas Surgery Center in Bakersfield, Calif., testified that her surgeons experienced strike-through several times. "There were times when our surgeons had removed their gowns," she says, "and they were wet or bloody and then [had] to shower and put on new scrubs."

Find out more in "Barrier Protection Breakdown," published in September's issue of Outpatient Surgery Magazine

— The Editors of Outpatient Surgery Magazine

Practitioners Pay Emotional Price When Patients Are Harmed

When patients are accidentally endangered or harmed, physicians and nurses pay a price, too.

A recent self-reporting study of nearly 6,000 nurses and physicians finds that those who'd experienced patient safety incidents in the previous 6 months were more likely to experience burnout, more likely to have drug problems, more likely to have work-home separation issues and more likely to be considering leaving their current positions.

Nearly 10% of those surveyed had been involved in such incidents in the previous 6 months. The authors say facilities should provide "appropriate organizational responses" that can help mitigate the negative effects on these "second victims."

Jim Burger

Is Prostate Surgery Overused?

Aggressive prostate cancer screening recommendations have led 1 million men suffering from the disease to undergo unnecessary treatment, according to Otis Brawley, MD, chief medical officer for the American Cancer Society.

Dr. Brawley's observation followed the publication of a study in the New England Journal of Medicine which showed that men with prostate cancer are likely to live for 10 years whether they receive treatment or not.

Researchers at the University of Oxford in England analyzed approximately 1,600 men, aged 50 to 69 years, who had been diagnosed with prostate cancer. The men either underwent prostatectomy, received external-beam radiation or were closely monitored while receiving no treatment. Overall, only 1% of the men died within 10 years of diagnosis. The cancer spread in 2 to 3% of the men who underwent surgery and radiation treatment, as compared with 6% who were actively monitored. However, men who received surgical or radiotherapy were more likely to experience side effects related to bowel, bladder and sexual function.

After 6 years' follow-up, twice as many men who underwent surgery still experienced bladder control issues and problems related to sexual function, compared with men who underwent radiotherapy or were closely monitored. Roughly half of the men who did not receive initial treatment stayed on active monitoring over the 10-year study period and avoided treatment side effects. More research is needed to determine if surgery or radiotherapy limits cancer growth and improves overall survival beyond 10 years, according to the researchers.

Keeping a close watch on disease progression is a reasonable option for men diagnosed with localized prostate cancer, especially if they have low- or moderate grade-disease, according to Dr. Brawley. "Active surveillance or delayed treatment avoids the side effects from treatment in those who do not need treatment, but there is an increased risk of cancer progression and spread, and some symptoms may increase gradually over time," he says.

Daniel Cook

InstaPoll: Does Your Staff Sneak Their Cell Phones Into the OR?

You might ban cell phones from the operating room and other patient care areas, but that doesn't mean your staff always abides by the rules. Tell us in this week's InstaPoll how often your staff sneak their phones into the OR.

About 31% of the 115 respondents to last week's InstaPoll tell some of their patients to lose weight before surgery.

What percentage of your patients do you advise to lose weight before surgery?

  • 0% 69%
  • 10% 13%
  • 20% 8%
  • 30% 4%
  • more than 30% 6%

Dan O'Connor

News & Notes
  • Johnson & Johnson & Abbott Medical Optics Johnson & Johnson, the maker of Acuvue soft contact lenses, is bulking up its vision care portfolio with the $4.325 billion purchase of Abbott Medical Optics, a leader in cataract and laser refractive surgical technology. The deal is expected to close early next year, pending regulators' antitrust approval.
  • CMS finalizes rules for emergencies Healthcare facilities must develop and maintain adequate plans for natural and man-made disasters, and coordinate these plans with federal, state, tribal, regional, and local emergency response systems, according to CMS's recently published final rule on emergency preparedness for Medicare and Medicaid providers.

  • Bypass weight-loss surgery is best Gastric bypass surgery is more effective than adjustable gastric banding and sleeve gastrectomy for maintaining long-term weight loss, according to research published in JAMA Surgery. Patients who underwent bypass surgery lost 16.9% more of their baseline weight than patients who underwent banding and 9.7% more weight than sleeve gastrectomy patients. At 4 years follow-up, patients who underwent gastric bypass lost 27.5% of their baseline weight, compared with 10% and 17% of patients who underwent sleeve gastrectomy and gastric banding respectively.