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October 2020 Issue

This October issue includes CE articles on the association between contaminated surfaces in the OR and the risk for health care–associated infections; robot-assisted total pancreatectomy with autologous islet cell transplantation, a surgical procedure for treating patients with chronic pancreatitis that has been unresponsive to other treatments; and implementing COVID-19 pandemic response strategies. The Clinical Issues column explores bundling cords during laparoscopic procedures, cleaning dirty instruments in scrub sinks, using cotton balls in neurosurgery, and surgical hand rub allergies.

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Featured CE Articles

1. Environmental Surface Hygiene in the OR: Strategies for Reducing the Transmission of Health Care–Associated Infections

There is increasing evidence that environmental surfaces in the OR setting can harbor pathogens that can lead to health care–associated infections. Patient-care equipment used routinely in the OR, such as electrocardiograph wires, blood pressure cuffs, pulse oximetry probes, and monitor cables, can become contaminated with pathogens during surgical procedures; without proper cleaning and disinfection between procedures, these items pose a risk for pathogen transmission and subsequent patient infections. This article discusses the association between contaminated surfaces in the OR and the risk for health care–associated infections.

2. Robot-Assisted Total Pancreatectomy With Autologous Islet Cell Transplantation: Perioperative Nursing Considerations

Robot-assisted total pancreatectomy with autologous islet cell transplantation (TPAIT) is a surgical procedure for treating patients with chronic pancreatitis that has been unresponsive to other treatments. Perioperative nurses should understand the physiological functions of the pancreas, the etiology of and treatment options for chronic pancreatitis, and their role in coordinating care for this patient population. This article discusses the disease process for chronic pancreatitis, reasons for choosing the robotic approach to TPAIT, preparation of the OR for the procedure, the role of the RN circulator during a robot-assisted TPAIT, and postoperative nursing management of the patient.

3. Safety First: Maintaining Perioperative Safety in Uncertain Times: COVID -19 Pandemic Response Strategies

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has presented health care leaders with the unprecedented challenge of maintaining patient and staff member safety amidst the rapid spread of a novel virus. The COVID-19 virus can be spread via common respiratory patterns (eg, expiration, coughing, sneezing) and through aerosols created during certain medical procedures—also known as aerosol-generating procedures. Perioperative and organizational leaders at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania were challenged to establish and implement a variety of strategies quickly to help ensure patient and staff member safety during the COVID-19 crisis.

Clinical Issues

1. Clinical Issues—October 2020

This month’s Q&A column addresses the following topics:

  • Bundling cords during laparoscopic procedures
  • Cleaning dirty instruments in scrub sinks
  • Using cotton balls in neurosurgery
  • Surgical hand rub allergies

Journal October