If you grew up in the 70’s, the 21st century was seen as a time warp bubble or a farfetched dream. A place where technology was supposed to be so advanced that many of the things you were used to either evolved and transformed into something else, or inevitably disappeared. Among the things that did disappear: the 8-track, typewriters, rotary dial phones and mercury thermometers. Yet, there are still some inventions, trendy at that time, which are still cherished today, like: vinyl records, lava lamps, Star Wars action figures, platform shoes and stethoscopes. Yes, stethoscopes.
Forceps were originally designed to help deliver a baby in an era where many women died from childbirth. The origin of the word comes from Latin, “forca,” which means to grab or grip an object. Forceps illustrated in ancient documents would have served as destructive instruments rather than aiding ones. There was little or no concern for the baby, and many were stillborn before any form of intervention was considered. During the middle ages, mechanical assistance was provided when delivery was obstructed. Instruments used by the Barber Surgeon or ladles from the kitchen were used to help a woman give birth. At that time, midwives were in charge of managing a hard labor, however, there are few written accounts of the process. Midwifery was almost a taboo, and mainly controlled by the church. The practice was cloaked in superstition. There is an example from a “Dame Trot” who practiced in Salermo during the 11th century: “When there is a difficult labour with a dead child, place the patient in a sheet held at the corners by four strong men, with her head somewhat elevated. Have them shake the sheet vigorously by pulling on the opposite corners, and with God’s will she will give birth.”1
Dr. Daryoush Tavanaiepour Interim Chair, Department of Neurosurgery, Medical Director, Skull Based Surgery, Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery, University of Florida
A biopsy punch is a circular hollow blade attached to a long, pencil-like handle. It is available as a disposable or a reusable instrument, and it is found in various diameters, ranging from 0.5mm to 10mm. They are used for simple procedures where a skin sample is needed for further study. While some may believe that this instrument is used almost exclusively by dermatologists, the biopsy punch has other purposes.
One of the key components in medical instrument cleaning is using the appropriate brush. With so many available options in the market today, it is important for staff to use the right brush to clean instruments thoroughly. Technicians should be familiar with the length and gauge of the brush, and which bristle types should be used on each specific device. Here are some helpful tips:
Microbes have been known to exist in the environment since the beginning of time. Some microbes are as old as Earth itself. They are an inherent element of life. Microbes are found everywhere, deep inside the Earth’s crust, in the polar caps and in all bodies of water. They are also found in plants, animals, humans, and they reside in your clothes and hair. Microbes have played a part in shaping the different habitats across the globe, and have even helped mold the evolution of many life forms.
Patients should be aware of a medical practice that has become dangerously common during the last few years. Disposable medical instruments are being reused by hospitals even though manufacturers insist that these devices should be used once and then thrown away. So, why do some hospitals reprocess single-use instruments? Their answer is simple. They claim it saves them money. Why use a disposable pair of scissors to cut the umbilical cord on only one newborn child, when it’s better to reprocess them and use them on two newborns? The full price they paid for a single pair of scissors gets cut by 50% when utilizing this practice.
Surgical site infections (SSIs) have become a common type of undesired adverse effect for hospitalized patients. “It is estimated that 1 in 24 patients who undergo inpatient surgery in the US had a postoperative SSIs”.1 SSIs comprise more than one-third of all hospital-acquired infections. These infections cause longer hospitalizations for patients, resulting in longer recovery time. Some patients may have to stay in the hospital for up to 10 days after surgery, depending on the severity of the infection. The increase in length of hospital stay or rate of re-hospitalization impacts total costs dramatically. Additionally, the risk of postoperative death is, by majority, directly related to surgical site infections. “The estimated cost of SSI’s to hospitals is $7.4 billion, with 13,088 deaths per year”.2
Each day, more healthcare professionals are switching from reusable instruments to disposable, single-use ones. There are several reasons why this tendency is growing, and will continue to grow in the years to come.