Sterilization & Reprocessing: Overcoming Challenges, Safeguarding Patients

Winner 2017 APEX Awards for Publication ExcellenceHealthcare personnel face a constant challenge in ensuring that devices, such as endoscopes, are correctly sterilized and reprocessed, in order to protect patients from a host of hospital-acquired infections. This challenge is made doubly difficult by the influx of new, sophisticated devices being developed for patient care and the rise of dangerous and antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Precleaning, leak testing, packaging, training, storage, and use of personal protective equipment also are vital considerations. Reducing the risk of exposure to improperly reprocessed medical devices is a shared responsibility among the FDA, healthcare facilities and personnel, manufacturers of both medical devices and sterilization equipment, and other organizations.

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