Are Anesthesiologists Finally Recognizing the Importance of Infection Control?

New York—When it comes to the delivery of anesthesia care, infection control matters—and infectious disease professionals think it is high time their counterparts in anesthesiology recognize that.

They should be pleased then that the issue was the topic of discussion during a session entitled “Infection Control Issues Impacting Anesthesia Practice: What’s the Evidence?” held here at the New York State Society of Anesthesiologists’ (NYSSA) 68th Annual PostGraduate Assembly (PGA) in Anesthesiology. The speakers emphasized the importance of infection control practices in the delivery of anesthesia by citing numerous examples. For instance, they noted that during anesthesia care Loftus RW et al (Anesth Analg. 2014 Jun 16. [Epub ahead of print]; PMID: 24937346) found a within- and between-case Enterococcus faecalis transmission rate of 11% to 23%; furthermore, several hepatitis B and C and other infectious outbreaks in health care settings over the past 15 years have been attributed to mishandling of medications, fluids, syringes, needles and cannulae by anesthesia professionals. However, the speakers also emphasized that some published infection control recommendations, including a provision of US Pharmacopeia (USP) Chapter <797>, for example, present unique challenges to anesthesia professionals.


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