This has been the hottest summer in recent memory, particularly in the midwest. Today is another scorcher, it's around 100 degrees here in Fraser, MI. I've really been enjoying this summer. I've been out boating, swimming, golfing, playing softball and just spending a lot of time outdoors. Well... I should say I was enjoying it until breaking my hand in a game of pick-up basketball a few weeks ago. I guess its just life's little reminder that I'm not as young as I once was and I need to be more careful. Something I've been careless about in the past that I do on a regular basis now is wear sunscreen. As a result, I am happy to say I haven't been sunburned once this year. Protecting yourself is important. We are reminded of that everywhere we go and it's especially important in the healthcare field. Surgical instruments can be potentially dangerous to handle, transport and clean. These items are particularly dangerous to personnel and patients right after use in the OR. These instruments become potentially infectious "sharps" when contaminated. Reusable sharps are objects that can penetrate a person's skin such as scissors, osteotomes and other surgical instruments. Commercially available sharps transport products are typically three-part container systems: solid base tray, drain basket and cover. Placed near the procedure site, the tray system is used to collect the instruments. Covered, it is safely transported to the decontamination site. There the cover is removed, and the drain basket is lifted out of the solution and the decontamination process safely begins. Various sizes appropriate for various services such as O.R., L&D, ED, etc. are available. For off-site or long distance transportation, your institution may want to consider sealed transport carts for added safety. Additionally, remember to read the AAMI ST79 sections dealing with the transportation and handling of sharps. When developing your policy for handling of sharps make sure you involve risk management and your infection prevention department. Including your entire team will help ensure you are protecting your staff against sharps and select the appropriate system for your facility.


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