The Importance of Proper Sterilization
It wasn't until the late 1880s that a steam sterilizer was invented to properly sterilize surgical instruments. While medical equipment sterilization has come a long way since then, there are still many instances of post-operative infections that can be traced to insufficient sterilization.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), such infections often result from microorganisms transferred from patient to patient. Take a moment to consider why sterilization is so important.
Preventing Bacterial Infections and Diseases
The CDC estimates that there are nearly 2 million health care-related infections each year in the United States. The most compelling reason for medical professionals to be mindful of sterilization is to prevent the build-up of bacteria. Improper sterilization can also create ideal environments for diseases to develop. In fact, one out of every 25 patients gets an infection during a stay in the hospital each day in the U.S., according to the CDC.
Reducing the Risk of Spreading Diseases
Even with today's modern technology, it's still possible for diseases to be spread with unsterilized medical equipment, especially if such tools or devices are used on patients with spreadable diseases. In some instances, the transference of a small amount of blood from equipment that wasn't sterilized could result in other patients developing serious conditions like AIDS and other immune system disorders.
Minimizing the Need for Double Surgeries
If medical devices used during surgery aren't properly sterilized, the resulting infection could be internal. When this happens, signs of an infection within the body may not be detected right away. If there are complications, a second surgery may be necessary to repair the damage or address entirely new problems. Having to operate a second time can be risky for patients, especially for those who haven't fully healed from the initial surgery.
Keeping Hospital Stays Shorter
Due to advances in technology, the average amount of time spent in the hospital has steadily decreased. However, if infections linked to improper sterilization occur, patients often have to remain in the hospital longer. This can become even more of an issue for seniors and patients with underlying health issues that make them more vulnerable to serious complications from infections.
Infections also contribute to $20 billion in health care costs each year in the United States. Being more proactive with sterilization is one way to minimize these expenses and improve patient safety. The supplies you need for proper medical equipment sterilization can be found online from trusted sources like the Medical Device Store. Featured equipment is often new or reconditioned.