Article Explores Aseptic Technique that Prevents Infection

A new article by Eric S. Kastango, MBA, RPh, FASHP, published in the April 2009 issue of Pharmacy Purchasing & Products, explores the importance of spreading the word around an aseptic technique that prevents infection. Below is a small excerpt with a link to the full article.

As pharmacists and technicians, we are an integral part of the delivery of health care to patients in a variety of practice settings. One of the most important changes that we can actively contribute to is the “Targeting Zero” initiative, created by the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) to prevent the most common and fatal healthcare-associated infections (HAIs).

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HAIs in US hospitals account for an estimated two million infections and 90,000 deaths annually with an estimated cost of $20 billion.2 This is equivalent to a Boeing 747 crashing every day of the year. The CDC estimates the most common HAIs are urinary tract infections (32%), surgical site infections (22%), pneumonias (15%), and bloodstream infections (BSIs) (14%).1 Each year, an estimated 250,000 cases of central line-associated (i.e., central venous catheter-associated) BSIs occur in hospitals in the United States, with an estimated attributable mortality of 12% to 25% for each infection. The marginal cost to the health care system is approximately $25,000 per episode.

Pharmacists and technicians can impact HAI reduction efforts in three ways:

1. Use proper aseptic technique when preparing compounded sterile preparations (CSPs).

2. Work with other health care professionals (i.e., nurses, nurse anesthetists, and physicians) to establish proper aseptic technique for CSP preparation in other patient care areas.

3. Actively participate on the Infection Control Committee, including reporting, monitoring, and improving compliance with hospital-accepted quality indicators.

For a complete copy of the article click here (pdf).

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