Dr. Georgia Alevizopoulou offers guidance on the treatment of medical devices at the point of use, to ensure optimum decontamination.
She discusses the key role of perioperative staff in ensuring important steps are carried out, which will ultimately contribute to ensuring patient safety.
Regardless of where a medical or surgical procedure is performed or how, all reusable medical devices used on patients during clinical practice must be rendered safe by performing a series of steps in the reprocessing cycle to essentially include cleaning, disinfection and/or sterilisation, as shown in Fig 1. While reprocessing of the medical devices is commonly thought of as a process that begins in the Central Sterile Services Department (CSSD), in truth it starts where the device was most recently used clinically. This step is known as point of use (POU) treatment and is, in fact, the very first step in the cycle of decontamination.
Strictly speaking, POU refers to the care and handling by clinical and technical staff pre‐operatively, intra-operatively, and post-operatively. This article discusses the care and handling of instruments directly post-procedure and their subsequent safe transport to the designated decontamination area. It will address the importance of, and review the process for, implementing POU treatment of medical devices
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