Infection Risks from Sterile Processing Errors in Medical and Dental Offices

September 26, 2019 | Evaluations & Guidance


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  1. Insufficient attention to sterilization processes in medical offices (e.g., OB/GYN, dermatology), dental offices, and other care settings that are not serviced by a central sterile processing department can expose patients to contaminated instruments, implants, or other critical items, potentially leading to patient infections.

  2. During infection prevention and control (IPC) consultations in these settings, ECRI Institute has observed numerous oversights and improper actions associated with the cleaning and sterilization of contaminated instruments and other items before use. Examples of sterilization program failures include:

a) Benchtop sterilizers being operated by staff who had...

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