There seems to be a new favorite out there with surveyors. For years we (anesthesiologists) have been tossing laryngoscope blades into the top drawer of anesthesia carts unwrapped. These were frequently right next to the Mounds Bars and Butterfingers so that blades would have a pleasant flavor for patients while they were intubated. (JUST KIDDING!).
Recently surveyors are expecting laryngoscope blades to be wrapped after high level disinfection regardless of the method. A recent phone call with Louis Kuhny at the Joint Commission cited a current CDC requirement related to prevention of Pneumonia.
In any case, its time to practice safe intubations and wrap those blades!
TJC’s Rationale: The CDC’s 2008 Disinfection & Sterilization Guideline does not address the packaging issue. Therefore TJC looked at other CDC Guidelines and a prior one, “GUIDELINES FOR PREVENTING HEALTH-CARE-ASSOCIATED PNEUMONIA, 2003” does have a specific recommendation which is provided below that states, “…after disinfection, proceed with appropriate rinsing, drying, and packaging, taking care not to contaminate the disinfected items in the process (308;310). CATEGORY IA [Strongly recommended for implementation and strongly supported by well designed experimental, clinical, or epidemiologic studies]